Croatia Marking Antifascist Struggle Day National Holiday

By 22 June 2018

ZAGREB, June 21, 2018 - Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović offered her best wishes to Croatian citizens on the occasion of Antifascist Struggle Day, stressing that Croatian antifascists began their four-year struggle for national freedom and social rights by calling for resistance to the country's fascist occupiers in the Brezovica forest on 22 June 1941.

"By fighting on the side of the Allies, the Croatian people, together with members of ethnic minorities, made an important contribution to the victory over fascism and Nazism. The declaration of the Federal State of Croatia and other decisions of the State Anti-fascist Council for the National Liberation of Croatia (ZAVNOH) preserved Croatia's statehood and laid the foundation for the declaration of a democratic and independent Republic of Croatia, which we defended from the Great Serbian aggression and liberated in the Homeland War," said the president.

"We commemorate the historic achievements of Croatian antifascists in a dignified manner, with full respect for all victims of World War II and its aftermath," Grabar-Kitarović said in her message.

Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković also offered his best wishes to Croatian citizens in a message issued on the occasion of Antifascist Struggle Day, which commemorates June 22, 1941, when one of the first antifascist units in Europe – the 1st Sisak Partisan Unit – was formed, noting that the victory over fascism in World War II, to which the antifascist movement in Croatia had contributed, had determined the future of present-day Europe.

"Croatia's lasting commitment to promoting the values of anti-fascism is confirmed in the historical foundations of the Constitution as well as in the Croatian Parliament's Declaration on Antifascism," Jandroković wrote in his message.

Croatia shares the values of modern Europe and rejects any form of extremism and totalitarianism, said Jandroković.

"Today's independent Republic of Croatia, whose foundation is the Homeland War, is oriented to the future and shares the values of modern Europe – peace, freedom, democracy, tolerance, solidarity, mutual respect and respect for diversity, as well as rejection of any form of extremism or totalitarianism," said Jandroković.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković underscored that the present-day modern Croatia has been built on the rejection of any form of intolerance, extremism and discrimination.

"Antifascism, to which modern-day Europe, with which we share values of democratic development, is committed, is built into the foundations of Croatia's statehood," Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovič said, adding that his cabinet permanently advocates the preservation of universal values of peace and freedom and the rule of law.

Numerous Croatian antifascists contributed to the victory over Nazism and Fascism in World War II and Croatia honours them today and remembers with gratitude all people who gave their lives in the struggle for freedom, he says.

"With more than 230,000 antifascist fighters, Croatia can be proud of having had one of the most significant resistance movements in then occupied Europe, and the first Croatian president, Franjo Tuđman, is one of the symbols of Croatia's contribution to the resistance to Nazism and fascism," said Plenković.