Jasenovac Memorial Area Condemns Ustasha Revisionism on Public Broadcaster

By 1 June 2018

ZAGREB, June 1, 2018 - The public institution running the Jasenovac memorial complex (JUSP) on Friday condemned the views presented by journalist and writer Igor Vukić in a Croatian public television (HRT) programme earlier this week, saying that he denied the crimes committed in the WWII Jasenovac concentration camp.

Vukić is known for his claims that Jasenovac was a labour camp and labour collection point and that no mass-scale crimes were committed there. His book, Radni Logor Jasenovac or The Jasenovac Labour Camp, was presented in the programme, and he again contested the figure of about 80,000 people killed in the camp by the pro-Nazi Ustasha regime which ruled Croatia during World War II.

In a statement, JUSP Jasenovac condemned and expressed concern about the views expressed by Vukić and the programme's hosts Marina Medved Pulić and Frano Ridjan, saying that a person who denies the crimes was presented as an authority on the subject of the Jasenovac concentration camp.

By inviting Vukić as a guest, the HRT and the editors of the "Good Afternoon, Croatia" programme gave him a platform to deny the crimes committed in the Ustasha concentration camp. Vukić said that Jasenovac had served as a labour camp or a prison for active opponents of the state and for Jews excluded from deportation to Germany, and described Ustasha leader Ante Pavelić as the most responsible person for rescuing camp inmates, according to the statement.

During his 15-minute appearance, Vukić never once used terms such as crime, racial laws, the Holocaust or forced labour. The programme's hosts did not distance themselves from the views of their guest and even called on viewers to buy his book, thus showing "a lack of professionalism and sympathy for the victims and generally a lack of knowledge of the subject at hand," the statement said.

JUSP Jasenovac once again recalled that the Jasenovac concentration camp had been the largest concentration camp in the territory of the Ustasha-run Independent State of Croatia (NDH) and the site of mass-scale executions of Serbs, Roma, Jews and political opponents of the Ustasha movement's racial ideology.

The HRT issued a statement on Thursday distancing itself from the views presented in the programme, aired on May 30, but did not mention any sanctions against those responsible. The HRT Programming Council has convened a special meeting for June 4 to discuss this case.