Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Anti-Fascist Association: Croatia Founded on Anti-Fascist Struggle

ZAGREB, 21 June 2022 - Representatives of the Alliance of anti-Fascist Fighters and Anti-Fascists of Croatia (SABA RH) laid a wreath at the National Heroes' Monument at Zagreb's Mirogoj cemetery on Tuesday, on the occasion of Anti-Fascist Struggle Day, which is observed in Croatia on 22 June as a bank holiday.

During the wreath-laying ceremony, the association's leader, Franjo Habulin, said that Croatia and Europe as a union of nations as well as the European Union were founded on the struggle of anti-Fascists and their victory over Nazis and Fascists in the Second World War.

Habulin highlighted 22 June 1941 as an extremely important day when the organized resistance was launched in the area of former Yugoslavia and when the first unit of Partisans was set up in Brezovica Forest near Sisak as the first armed anti-Fascist unit in the occupied European regions.

The first spark of resistance was ignited in Croatia, it is here where the organized armed resistance was offered to the Nazi-Fascist occupation, said Habulin, calling for better education of young generations about the armed resistance in Croatia during the WW2.

Zagreb's Deputy Mayor, Luka Korlaet, said that the legacy of anti-Fascism was intertwined in the foundation of the City of Zagreb.

In the Second World War, an estimated 50,000 Zagreb residents took part in the resistance, and about 8,000 were killed, he said.

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Friday, 22 April 2022

Penalties for Using Ustasha Salute Might be Increased, Prime Minister Says

ZAGREB, 22 April (2022) - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Friday the possibility of increasing penalties for the use of the Ustasha salute "For the homeland ready" was being considered in talks with national minorities and antifascists, but not legislative amendments that would ban its use.

"I have underlined once again that the existing regulations and Constitutional Court rulings are very clear about the salute. I think only the practice should be standardised. We can see if the penalties might be increased, so that we can act preventively in that way too, but also punish those breaking the law," Plenković told the press after a commemoration for the 77th anniversary of the inmate breakout from the WWII Ustasha concentration camp Jasenovac.

He did not specify whether amendments to the criminal code or the misdemanour law were being considered.

A number of options are being discussed, he said, adding that the courts already have the legal basis but they should standardise their practice, which can also be done by the Supreme Court.

Plenković went on to say that the government was willing to finance the refurbishment of the Jasenovac Memorial Site, and that the education ministry would try to ensure, in agreement with school principals, that as many pupils as possible visited it.

He also commented on a recent statement by War Veterans Ministry envoy Matko Raos at a HOS (Croatian Defence Forces) commemoration that "without 10 April 1941, there would have been no present-day Croatia."

Plenković said Raos made a "serious mistake" and that he apologised to the war veterans minister and him.

"Sometimes inexperienced people say something they shouldn't. We all distanced ourselves from it, condemning it. I'm not sure whether we should send anyone to such events any more," he said, adding that he meant events which resembled a provocation more than a commemoration.

Plenković said those present at today's commemoration honoured all those killed at Jasenovac at the time of the fascist NDH (1941-45 Independent State of Croatia).

"We are sorry for everyone who was killed here, Jews, Serbs, Roma, Croats and antifascists, all who were against that regime."

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