Sunday, 27 January 2019

Croatian Government Pays Respect to Holocaust Victims

ZAGREB, January 27, 2019 - The Croatian government on Sunday joined in marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27, which commemorates the 1945 liberation of the biggest Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, saying that the protection of every person's dignity was a joint duty and obligation towards Holocaust victims and underlining the importance of educating young people about the mindless tragedy of the Jewish people across occupied Europe.

"International Holocaust Remembrance Day commemorates the darkest period in human history - the systematic persecution, genocide and horrible suffering, primarily of the Jewish people, as well as of other victims of the Nazi regime. As a notion, the Holocaust is the full negation of humanity as well as of all cultural and civilisational attainments and fundamental moral values of humankind," the government said in a statement.

Recalling that International Holocaust Remembrance Day provides an opportunity to pay tribute to the millions of innocent women, men and children killed only because their religion or ethnic background were different, the government called for educating young people about the suffering of innocent victims and the tragedy of the Jewish people across occupied Europe.

This also refers to education about the 1941-1945 Independent State of Croatia (NDH) and the Ustasha-run concentration camp of Jasenovac and other places of suffering, where thousands of Jews and members of other ethnic groups, as well as Croatian antifascists and democrats, were killed, the government said.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day also provides an opportunity to pay tribute to the 117 Croatian Righteous Among the Nations, who during World War II risked their own lives to save Jewish fellow citizens, the government said.

Only young people who have been made aware of and have been taught lessons from the past will be able to build a modern society, free of any hate and intolerance, in line with democratic and European values, reads the government statement. "Further strengthening the freedom and equality of all people as well as protecting the inalienable dignity of every person should be a joint duty and obligation towards all Holocaust victims," the government says.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day was designated by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 60/7 on 1 November 2005. It commemorates the genocide that resulted in the death of an estimated 6 million Jewish people.

Croatia has actively participated in commemorating the Holocaust as well as in Holocaust education and research through its membership of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) and many other initiatives.

More news on the Ustasha regime in Croatia can be found in the Politics section.

Saturday, 26 January 2019

Zagreb Archbishop Condemns Horrors of Jasenovac and Holocaust

On the occasion of the International Day of Remembrance of Holocaust Victims, a prayer-commemorative gathering was organised by the Zagreb Archdiocese and the Hatikva Jewish Information and Educational Centre in front of the Zagreb Cathedral. The event was attended by the Archbishop of Zagreb Cardinal, Josip Bozanić, reports HRT on January 26, 2019.

“The memories in Judaism and Christianity connect the past and the present because, while we remember the victims of inhumane treatment and the attempt to destroy the Jewish people, we encounter the secret of evil, but we are not looking at it only in the framework of the past, but we are aware of it in the present as well,” emphasized Cardinal Bozanić.

“The ideology of racism, directed against God and man, was born in the falsehoods about the man and the Jewish people, spread by hatred, and turned into an inexpressible measure of suffering, which neither words nor images can express,” added Bozanić.

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Bozanić also recalled the suffering of the Jewish community in Croatia. “We need to pay special attention to what has happened in our midst, in Croatia, emphasising without any reservation the truth about the horrors of Jasenovac and other camps, where innocent people suffered. Now, 74 years after the end of the Second World War, we also remember the great suffering of the Croatian Jewish community, especially the Jews in Zagreb, which are deeply woven into the life of our city. Of 11,000 Jews, less than 2,000 survived.

He added that it is entirely unacceptable to allow any form of anti-Semitism to be awoken today, although such ideologies exist even now. “They are growing based on the untruths with devastating results of the conflict, intolerance and hate, with the consequences of suffering not just for individuals and certain groups but also the entire peoples.”

The Centre leader Julija Koš said that the rabbi was not present in Zagreb and that she was there as his representative. She read a song saying that each Holocaust victim has his or her name because for the Jewish people the name of the person is the identity, which can be brought back by our memory. “Today's event is so important that its meaning cannot yet be comprehended. Each sentence of the Cardinal's address contains a message what we need to do to heal the society, and messages for future generations that will be more similar to other young Europeans,” said Koš. “Teachers and parents will see where we have lost 25 years of upbringing for good and where we let many forces lead the youth towards the evil that has passed a long time ago,” she said.

Some of the descendants of the perpetrators are aware of the truth, some are not, but none of them are guilty, she said, adding that in other European countries more descendants are aware, while there is a small part of those who advocate for their forefathers who committed the crimes. “In Croatia, we have a small percentage of these, but they are sometimes very loud," added Koš.

Answering the question about the Catholic Church providing venues for the promotion of books that deny the Holocaust, Kristijan Lepešić said that this event had marginalized them. “The most important thing is that this is the largest such event we have seen in Europe. This is a major step forward for the Catholic Church not just in Croatia, because Cardinal Bozanić is a member of the Roman Curia, and I think this is the best way to marginalise the forces that promote such books,” said Kristijan Lepešić.

The event was attended by ministers Marija Pejčinović Burić and Nina Obuljen Koržinek, as well as Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandić and Speaker of Parliament Gordan Jandroković.

The International Holocaust Remembrance Day is marked on January 27, in memory of the day in 1945 when the Soviet Red Army liberated the largest and the most notorious Nazi death camp in Auschwitz, where more than a million and a hundred thousand people were killed. During the Holocaust, more than six million Jews were killed.

More news on the Jasenovac concentration camp can be found in the Politics section.

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Jasenovac Memorial Site Warns against Historical Revisionism

ZAGREB, September 29, 2018 - The Jasenovac Memorial Site said on Friday it was concerned about the launch of Roman Leljak's film and book "The Jasenovac Myth" which reduce the number of victims of the WWII concentration camp and sympathise with the Ustasha movement and the 1941-45 Nazi-styled Independent State of Croatia (NDH).

Thursday, 2 August 2018

Croatia Marks International Roma Genocide Remembrance Day

ZAGREB, August 2, 2018 - A memorial ceremony was held Thursday at the Roma cemetery in Uštica, about 100 kilometres southeast of Zagreb, for 16,173 Roma killed in the Jasenovac concentration camp during the Second World War.

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Israel: Croatia Has Moral Obligation to Deal with Past

ZAGREB, July 25, 2018 - The Ustasha regime was one of the horrible regimes of Nazi collaborationists in this region and an active partner in the killing of dozens of thousands of Jews, Serbs, Roma and other opponents to the Independent State of Croatia (NDH), Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said on Wednesday in Jasenovac, adding that Croatia has the moral obligation to deal with the past as it is the foundation of every just society and an important element of its friendship with Israel.

Friday, 1 June 2018

Jasenovac Memorial Area Condemns Ustasha Revisionism on Public Broadcaster

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.

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

US Warns about Ustasha Glorification and Holocaust Denial

ZAGREB, May 30, 2018 - Glorifying the WWII Ustasha regime, downplaying and denying of the Holocaust as well problems with the restitution of the Jewish property are the main objections to Croatia in the latest US State Department report on religious freedoms in 2017, released on Wednesday.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Serbia to Invest 20 Million Euro in Movie about Jasenovac?

Hollywood stars might be involved in the production.

Friday, 27 April 2018

President Wants International Commission to Determine “Truth” about Jasenovac

Croatian historians are against the proposal, believing that the truth is already well-established.

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Prime Minister Calls for Joint Commemorations at Jasenovac

ZAGREB, April 26, 218 - After representatives of some of Croatian minority communities recently boycotted the central state commemoration for the victims of the World War II Jasenovac concentration camp on April 22, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković on Thursday called on all social stakeholders in the country, notably politicians, to attend central state commemorations and make effort so "that in the future we could have a single commemoration at Jasenovac."

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