Serb National Council Joins Boycott of Jasenovac Commemorations

By 26 March 2017

The Serb National Council will organize a separate commemoration event together with Jewish and antifascist organizations.

As long as the memorial plaque with the Ustasha salute “For Homeland ready” remains in Jasenovac, it is not possible to participate in an official commemoration ceremony for the victims of the Jasenovac concentration camp on 22 April, decided the assembly of the Serb National Council, reports Novosti on March 26, 2017.

Instead, the Serb National Council will attend a religious memorial ceremony on 22 April in Mlaka, and it will also participate in the organization of an alternative commemoration event, together with antifascists and two Jewish organizations, the Coordination of Jewish Communities and Beth Israel, which have earlier also announced a boycott of the state commemorations.

According to Petar Raić from the Union of Anti-Fascist Fighters and Anti-Fascists (SABA), who was a guest at the meeting of the Serb National Council, a similar decision has been made by the SABA as well.

Milorad Pupovac, president of the Serb National Council, explained that “the plaque with the ‘For Homeland Ready’ inscription and the commemoration for the victims of the Jasenovac concentration camp cannot go together”. “For Homeland Ready” was a slogan used in the Independent State of Croatia, a Nazi-puppet state during the Second World War.

“Minorities have given a large contribution to the Croatian accession to the European Union. However, after the official entry, certain circles have appeared which believe that the state should not fulfil its obligations. Those who today cannot tolerate the national minorities, do not want anything good to Croatia nor its citizens”, said Pupovac.

The decision to boycott the official commemorations in Jasenovac was made during the electoral assembly of the Serb National Council, which was held on Saturday on the premises of the Serbian Orthodox High School in Zagreb.

The Union of Anti-Fascist Fighters and Anti-Fascists of Croatia decided on Tuesday that it would organize a commemoration event in Jasenovac on Sunday, 23 April, regardless of when the official commemoration will take place, according to the SABA president Franjo Habulin.

Similar boycotts of official commemorations took place last year as well.