Croatian Parliament Pays Respect to Holocaust Victims

By 25 January 2019

 ZAGREB, January 25, 2019 - The Croatian Parliament began its session on Friday with a minute of silence to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is observed on January 27. "On that day the whole world pays deep respect for the victims of the Nazi persecution and genocide of the Jews and minorities, as well as for all the victims of the Nazi and fascist regimes during World War II," Speaker Gordan Jandroković said at the start of the session.

Recalling the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp 73 years ago, he said that that infamous place also symbolised all other places where genocide had been committed against Jews and where other undesirable groups had been systematically exterminated by the Nazi and fascist regimes. "Auschwitz symbolises the death of six million innocent people whose only guilt was that they were different from the chosen ones," Jandroković said.

"Today we also respect the memory of all those who suffered and died at the hands of people who were blinded by fear and hatred. We also remember their families, as well as those who survived those atrocities and who were and are forever marked by the memory of the days of horror and shame they survived and who, despite the immense trauma, tried bravely to return to normal life. It is our debt to them," Jandroković said.

He recalled brave people who had risked their own life and the lives of their children, their safety and freedom, to unselfishly help the Jewish people. Among them are 117 Croatian 'righteous among the nations'. "Those were people of different religious, political and other convictions, but first and foremost they were morally upright. They can be an example to us today that everyone can and must be righteous among the nations," he stressed.

Jandroković said that the lessons learned from the Holocaust were especially important four young people as future leaders and opinion makers. "That's why it is of vital importance for them to fully understand the meaning of the Holocaust and how a learned experience can help in creating a more tolerant, more just and inclusive society in the future. They need to be taught to be against hatred and intolerance of any kind and to respect other people and their diversity," he said.

"Today we remember not only the victims of the Holocaust but also the victims of Vukovar, Škabrnja, Srebrenica and all other places of war crimes, and we send a message of hope that we have learned from the past and that in our societies we want human values to triumph over human destructiveness," Jandroković concluded.

Before the Parliament meeting, Jandroković laid a wreath in the Jewish section of Mirogoj Cemetery in Zagreb.

More news on Croatia’s history can be found in the Politics section.