Victory Day Marked in Zagreb

By 10 May 2018

ZAGREB, May 10, 2018 - Victory Day, Europe Day and Zagreb Liberation Day were observed in Zagreb on Wednesday at a ceremony at which it was said that the values of anti-fascism were embedded in Croatia's constitution and that everyone had the duty to cultivate them so that fascism did not occur ever again.

The president of the SABA alliance of antifascist fighters and antifascists of Croatia Franjo Habulin said all of Europe celebrated Victory Day and that it was no coincidence that it was celebrated on the same day as Europe Day. "The unconditional capitulation of the fascist powers was signed and World War II ended. We have a duty to those who fought for freedom to convey the facts. Europe has grown on the foundations of anti-fascism."

The government's envoy, Justice Minister Dražen Bošnjaković, said Croatia was founded on antifascist values, recalling that Croatia's first president Franjo Tuđman had cultivated those values. "Today Croatia is free. We have freedom of thought, minority rights, a multiparty system which we wish to continue to develop. Croatia fought on the side of the victors. Let's also remember Croatia's first president who took part in the antifascist struggle," Bošnjaković said.

President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović's envoy, Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandić, said that only by remembering the struggle against fascism could one prevent the same from happening in the future, and called on citizens to look ahead.

Deputy Parliament Speaker Siniša Hajdaš Dončić said he was displeased that part of Croatia's leadership did not want to observe Victory Day. "Victims are being increasingly forgotten, while there are more and more attempts to depict fascists as victims, even as ‘heroes who looked for their space of freedom in South America,’" he said, alluding to a speech the president had made during a recent visit to South America.

He criticised the renaming of streets and squares symbolising anti-fascism and the destruction of antifascist monuments. "But it is important to ponder if the new generations will recognise and be able to resist the new forms of fascism, which has many faces," he said, criticising some political parties and concluding his address with "Death to fascism".