Jasenovac book BANNED an April 10th

On April 10th, the day the Independent State of Croatia was born in 1941 to begin a state-mandated campaign of genocide against Serbs, Jews, and Romas, a U.S. judge, for the first time in Western history, issued (on behalf of Barry Lituchy) a permanent ban against a book containing testimonies of Holocaust/genocide survivors.


I.       Brief History of the Lawsuit

A. Initial demands of Lituchy, et al.

B. Demands in the Complaint

C. Claims in the Complaint

D. The lawsuit against Kingsborough

E. Preliminary Injunction

F. Settlement demands

G. Lituchy’s attacks

II.      Current Status

A. Appeal to the Second Circuit

III.     Who Won?

A. What Lituchy, et al. wanted (and lost)

B. Others have also “lost” in many ways

IV.     The Winners

V.      To JRI Directors/Lituchy Supporters

On Friday, April 10, 2009, Judge Brian M. Cogan issued a “Final Judgment and Permanent Injunction” in the copyright infringement suit filed by Memory Film Production (Memory), Jasenovac Research Institute (JRI), Aleksandar Mosic, and Antun Miletic against Petar Makara, Wanda Schindley (a/k/a Dallas Publishing), and Kingsborough Community College with the stated purpose of suppressing through injunction (and confiscating) all copies of Jasenovac: Proceedings of the First International Conference and Exhibit on the Jasenovac Concentration Camps (Proceedings Book), a book containing testimony of survivors of the Jasenovac death camps, by many accounts the third-largest and most brutal death camp in WWII Europe, a camp largely unknown to Western audiences.

I have not made public statements about this lawsuit for more than three years, not even a response to the libelous assaults on my personal and professional character and business, but have fought through the court, believing that justice would prevail. At this point, it has not, and I will no longer remain silent.


More than seven years after the 1997 First International Conference on Jasenovac, hosted and chaired by Dr. Bernard Klein, chairman of the history department at Kingsborough Community College, the Proceedings Book was published in time to be presented at the 60th anniversary commemorations of the April 22, 1945 break-out and survival of some of the last survivors of the Jasenovac death camps. Volunteers contributed work to the production and money for the printing costs, and a network of some 25 volunteer distributors, organized by Petar Makara, took the books to libraries, Holocaust centers, and researchers and sold a few with hopes of paying some of the costs of shipping and a second printing. Within a month, most of the 1,031 books had been distributed.

A.  Initial demands of Lituchy, et al.

Barry Lituchy, the financier and driving force behind the suit, engaged a lawyer to try to suppress the Proceedings Book, claiming he/JRI/Memory had exclusive rights to the material of the 1997 Conference and that the Proceedings Book infringed their copyrights. Lituchy, as a part-time lecturer at Kingsborough, had assisted Dr. Klein with the Conference and had solicited donations in the name of Kingsborough for translation work for the video version of the Conference. (Yet those translations and the pro bono contributions of professional videographer Vladimir Bibic, contributions Bibic made for the benefit of Jasenovac victims, were included in the Lituchy-Friendly Memory “business” enterprise.)

In July of 2005, Lituchy’s lawyer sent letters to Petar Makara and me demanding we stop distribution of the “infringing” book and collect all the books and send them along with any money from sales to Lituchy, et al. within one week, or a lawsuit would be filed. (Attachment A—threat letter). Petar and I could not possibly submit to such extortion.

I called the lawyer immediately and told him the proposed complaint was full of lies, that both Dr. Klein and Dr. Bulajic supported the publication of the Proceedings Book, that I had contributed my work pro bono and had not sold a single copy of the book or received any payment for my work, that neither Lituchy nor JRI had contributed any work or money to the book’s publication, that Vladimir Bibic had sent me his raw footage to use in preparing parts of the book and pulling stills of presenters, that I had no assets that were attachable under Texas law, that my husband was terminally ill, and that Lituchy was wasting his time to try to extort anything from me. Petar Makara and I also responded with letters (Attachment B).

I did not believe that a reputable lawyer would actually file the suit, but Petar, having been sued (along with three others) by Lituchy/JRI in a suit demanding $8.5 million for supposedly saying something “bad” about Lituchy, took the threat seriously. Petar was right. The suit was filed.

B. Demands in the Complaint

Lituchy et al. demanded confiscation of all copies of the Proceedings Book (to be destroyed, according to his lawyer), suppression of the book and further publication through injunction, enhanced statutory damages ($150,000 each) for Memory, Mosic, and (later) Miletic, attorney fees, costs, and unspecified damages to JRI for “breach of fiduciary duty.”

Apparently, the presumption was that Makara and I and (later) Kingsborough would simply settle and give Lituchy what he wanted—to confiscate and suppress all copies of the Proceedings Book and extort hundreds of thousands from defendants.

C.  Claims in the Complaint

While Lituchy/JRI claimed to represent the Jasenovac survivors who came to New York to tell their stories, in fact, the survivors and other researchers were outraged that he would claim rights to their stories and try to suppress the Proceedings Book. The President of the Belgrade survivors’ association wrote letters to the Court (Attachment C—also available in Serbian), and declarations of support were submitted by still-living survivors/presenters, including Dr. Klein and Dr. Bulajic. Several presenters who had given Lituchy/JRI “non-exclusive” permission in 2003 withdrew their permission.

Lituchy claimed the Proceedings Book had “substantive” errors and “falsified” history. When, after a court order, Lituchy finally produced the “error list,” the “falsification” turned out to be Dr. Klein’s and Dr. Bulajic’s stories about the origin of the Conference, etc. (Attachment D), and the “errors” in the Mosic paper were as Mosic had written it. (The documents will all be available later). Lituchy also claimed the book did not acknowledge him as the assistant coordinator of the conference and other silly claims.

D.  The lawsuit against Kingsborough

Lituchy, et al. then sued Kingsborough Community College (part of the CUNY system), claiming it had no right to “authorize” the publication of the proceedings of the 1997 conference on Jasenovac that had been hosted and chaired by Dr. Bernard Klein, chair of the history dept. (This was after Lituchy called Klein and asked him if he knew about the book and authorized it. Klein said “yes.”) Lituchy then called Jane Davis at the CUNY law department and threatened there would be more lawsuits from presenters, etc., and Davis, without checking with Dr. Klein, sent me an email demanding I withdraw the copyright, based on Lituchy’s incorrect “information.” Ultimately, Dr. Klein was not allowed to claim the book copyright. The college, now sued by Lituchy, et al., used the excuse that the book constituted a gift worth more than $10,000 and, consequently, required prior approval for acceptance. Dr. Klein, who had signed a declaration in support of the Book, was pressured to sign another declaration that he was not involved in the “production” of the book.

The frivolous suit against Kingsborough was withdrawn, and Lituchy, according to his lawyer, was fired from his job as a part-time lecturer at Kingsborough.

E.  Preliminary Injunction

A preliminary injunction was awarded against the entire 416-page book on the basis of Mosic’s 5- and Miletic’s 7-page papers and without the required security in case the book was “wrongfully” banned. It was. (At the time, the claims were made on behalf of Memory/JRI/Lituchy against the entire book, and I did not think to offer to rip out Mosic’s and Miletic’s papers. Later, I filed a Motion to Vacate the Preliminary Injunction, and Judge Cogan simply threw it out in 5 days without having the other side respond.)

The banning of the Proceedings Book by a U.S. court both confused and enraged Jasenovac survivors and researchers on both sides of the Atlantic. Jasa Almuli, former president of the Belgrade Jewish Federation, and Cadik Danon, one of two now still-living survivors who testified at the Conference, fought desperately to have the banned book freed, and Smilja Tisma, President of the Belgrade association of survivors and descendants of survivors appealed to the Court to free the book (see Attachment C). Others, including Joe Friendly, tried to facilitate settlement of the case and freeing of the Book, but Lituchy persisted in demanding the suppression of the Book.

F.  Settlement demands

Makara, having been sued before by Lituchy and having spent tens of thousands for lawyers, settled without admitting wrongdoing to avoid paying tens of thousands more to lawyers. Lituchy’s lawyer then pressured me to settle—to pay money to Lituchy-JRI, to help produce a Lituchy-JRI book, and to help Lituchy-JRI get permissions from presenters (that Lituchy claimed to already have), etc. Lituchy’s lawyer then pressured me to get a lawyer, and when I refused and sent him proof that Dr. Klein authorized the Proceedings Book and that I had “declined” a JRI directorship and told him that Bibic had copyrighted his raw footage, he got off the case and passed it on to another lawyer, who, in turn, passed it on to yet another.

G.  Lituchy’s attacks

Lituchy sent a series of libelous emails, attacking Petar and me (and sometimes Dr. Bulajic) as “liars,” “thieves,” “criminals,” “racists,” “anti-Semites” (Petar’s wife is Jewish), “sexual blackmailers,” “forgers,” “perjurers,” “scam artists,” etc. who “stole $6,000,” etc. (Attachment E—Robert Oklejas’ response) I filed a separate libel suit citing 42 counts of libel and added to my countersuit libel charges against Lituchy-accomplices Milo Yelesiyevich, Mosic and Miletic, the later two for their libelous smears in Politika.

Lituchy provided misinformation to Mr. Mosic such as that Kingsborough sued me instead of that he sued Kingsborough. (At the time of Mr. Mosic’s 2006 deposition, he did not even know he was an individual plaintiff in the suit. Both he and Mr. Miletic admitted waiving their rights to a proceedings book when Dr. Bulajic asked them to prepare papers and come to the Conference and said their damages were caused after they filed suit by those who were furious they would join a suit to suppress testimony of Holocaust/genocide survivors (i.e., Mosic lost his position as Memorial director at the Belgrade Jewish Federation, and Miletic was attacked by former friends, one of whom threatened to “exterminate” him).

Lituchy attacked Vladimir Bibic, even leaving a message on his answering machine threatening to “sue” or “kill” him (Bibic) if he wrote an affidavit. (Bibic had filmed the conference and contributed, for the benefit of the Jasenovac survivors, the use of his film and his expertise to the making of the Memory Video Series of the 1997 Conference. Joe Friendly, another who filmed, and Barry Lituchy sold the Video Series in a “business” venture. Some seven years later, Friendly and Lituchy copyrighted the “camera recordings” in the Series (including Bibic’s contribution) and in a Preview Tape (exclusively Bibic’s footage) in their names under Memory Film Productions and then used Memory as the leading plaintiff in a copyright lawsuit, claiming Memory also had exclusive rights to the materials of the 1997 Conference.

Lituchy tried to intimidate Yovanka Malkovich, another witness who was prepared to testify, by having his lawyer send a letter to Yovanka’s employer with libelous accusations that she was using company resources in an obvious attempt to punish her and/or get her fired from her job, oddly enough with an employer who had donated $38,000 of her time to Kingsborough for translation work and voice-overs that ended up being used in the Lituchy-Friendly Memory Film “business” enterprise.

Lituchy threatened to sue some 25 volunteer distributors, apparently looking for others from whom to extort money, until the magistrate judge said that was out of the question.

Lituchy threatened to “follow” and “punish” me and make me “pay,” etc., apparently for defending myself in this lawsuit, and threatened to sue a JRI director who resigned after he had given a deposition and felt that he had been wrong to play along with Lituchy.


After not producing any evidence of rights to the Proceedings Book or supporting damage claims in 3.5 years of litigation, Memory, Mosic, and Miletic withdrew the remaining claims just days before they were set to go to trial. In Judge Cogan’s Sept. 5, 2008 “Memorandum Decision and Order,” JRI, against existing law, was awarded a permanent injunction against the Proceedings Book on the grounds that I breached a “fiduciary duty” by proxy, through Bulajic and Makara, to JRI, and JRI/Lituchy should not have to compete with the Proceedings Book to sell the JRI/Lituchy book. The judge signed plaintiffs’ “order” (apparently without reading it as he later denied he granted JRI a permanent injunction). In the same order, he threw out the libel claims against Lituchy (stating, for instance, that I did not prove someone else did not commit “forgery”) and my countersuit (with libel and frivolous lawsuit claims).

In a “Final Judgement and Permanent Injunction,” Judge Cogan granted JRI permanent injunction against the book and Mosic and Miletic injunction against their papers.

A.  Appeal to the Second Circuit

I appealed the Court’s Sept. 5th order in its entirety and have amended the appeal with each new “order.” I am confident the appeals court or, if necessary, the Supreme Court will free the banned book as the injunction is not supported by existing law. (see Attachment F—Objections to plaintiffs proposed “Final Judgment and Permanent Injunction”)


A. What Lituchy, et al. wanted (and lost)

1.  Confiscation of all copies of the Proceedings Book. He lost. (I believe he only got the 14 or so copies extorted from Dr. Klein in the settlement of the suit against Kingsborough. Perhaps those are the books now for sale at a high price from used booksellers.)

2.  Suppression of the remaining 140 copies of the Proceedings Book. He won temporarily but gets to pay his Manhattan lawyers for perhaps another year or two to keep me from giving away 140 books until the injunction is overturned.

3.  $150,000 plus for enhanced statutory damages for “infringement” of Memory’s copyright. He lost. Memory withdrew the frivolous claim after having produced no evidence of exclusive rights to even a word in the Proceedings Book.

4.  $150,000 plus for enhanced statutory damages for “infringement” of Mosic’s copyright. He lost. Mosic withdrew the frivolous claim.

5.  $150,000 plus for enhanced statutory damages for “infringement” of Miletic’s copyright. He lost. Miletic withdrew the frivolous claim. (The Miletic copyright was fraudulent, anyway. Under U.S. law, the Belgrade Museum of Genocide, which commissioned the English translation as “work for hire,” could copyright the translation as “original work.”)

6.  Untold thousands for costs of the 3.5 years of litigation. He lost.

7.  Untold tens or hundreds of thousands for fees for his Manhattan lawyers. He lost.

8.  Untold thousands for JRI’s frivolous copyright infringement claim. He lost. (That frivolous claim was informally withdrawn during summary judgment oral arguments after having produced no evidence of a copyright to even one of the some 40 texts in the Proceedings Book.)

9.  An unspecified amount in damages for JRI’s “breach of fiduciary duty” claim. He lost.

10. Lituchy filed a lawsuit against Kingsborough/Dr. Klein, his employer, and lost his part-time job and the opportunity to be called, without a doctorate, „professor.“

B.  Others have also lost in many ways

1.  Supporters of the book—Jasenovac survivors, those who believed in the importance in educating the public about Jasenovac, those who believed in First Amendment rights to speech and publication, those who worked to free a book that was wrongfully and outrageously banned because Barry Lituchy could hire (perhaps with the help of some of you) Manhattan lawyers—have lost.

2.  Petar Makara, Dr. Klein (who in the last weeks of his life traveled to Banja Luka to attend the Fourth International Conference on Jasenovac and chair the International Commission on Jasenovac), Dr. Bulajic, Jasa Almuli, Smilja Tisma, Vladimir Bibic, and a host of others and I have lost time, money, and/or anguish and/or damage to health because of this pathological lawsuit. I have spent some $20,000 of scarce resources on six trips to New York, more than a dozen depositions, etc. and spent thousands of hours of time on my defense.

3.  Mr. Mosic and Mr. Miletic, Lituchy’s willing allies, have lost respect from former friends and have gained nothing.

4.  JRI directors have been countersued and deposed. If the appeals court reinstates my countersuit, they may be held personally liable as Michigan law, under which JRI was incorporated, does not have a “good faith” defense for directors of a nonprofit organization.


Other than those who want to suppress the truth about Jasenovac, the winners are those who might be threatened by Lituchy in the future. Lituchy “won” control of JRI by using JRI to file suit against Robert Oklejas, the original incorporator of JRI, Petar Makara, Dusan Dragic, and Milan Bulajic, claiming they had said something to Dr. Klein to try to get him fired. (Dr. Klein told me no one did that.) Lituchy tried to extort money and a book to which he had no right with this lawsuit and has threatened to sue or sued at least ten people. However, I suspect he will think twice before filing suit against someone else.

Unfortunately, in American “justice,” having Manhattan lawyers counts for more than law and fact against a pro se (self-represented) defendant, especially when a “friendly” judge ignores law and fact on behalf of represented plaintiffs. However, I would still recommend that route to anyone else who might get sued by Lituchy-JRI.


For those JRI members who apparently put reason and law aside to follow Lituchy’s lead, my reason for countersuing you is because I hoped you would understand the importance of your role as a JRI director. The law mandates that you take your role seriously and do research to vote, not on personality but on fact and the best interest of the organization. I cannot imagine anyone who purports to have an interest in promoting education about Jasenovac who votes, for any reason, to censor a book that does just that. Even if Lituchy had had, though he did not, exclusive rights to all (or any) of the papers of the 1997 Conference, how could it be in the interest of education about Jasenovac to ban the second book published in America that contained first-hand testimony about Jasenovac? (The first book, Ilija Ivanovic’s Witness to Jasenovac’s Hell, was published by Dallas Publishing in 2002.)

JRI directors should, instead of being stooges for Lituchy, send the organization back to Robert Oklejas, the original incorporator, in Michigan to reform the organization into a legal organization that is not operated in the interest of Lituchy to file lawsuits to extort property and punish those who disagree with him but in the interest of, as former directors Oklejas, Bulajic, Makara, Dragic, Vitorovich, Jankovich, etc. had hoped it would be—educating the public about Jasenovac.

To misguided people who donated money to help Lituchy-JRI pay hundreds of thousands to Manhattan lawyers for the purpose of suppressing the Proceedings Book, how can you justify your actions even if Makara, Schindley, and Kingsborough were the most despotic in the world? You helped censor a book—not just any book but a book containing the words of precious Jasenovac survivors, several of whom died while their words were banned.

Wanda Schindley


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