Saturday, 2 October 2021

Children Who Died in WWII Concentration Camp in Sisak Commemorated

ZAGREB, 2 Oct, 2021 - A ceremony was held in Sisak's Diana Budisavljević Park on Saturday to commemorate the children who had died in an Ustasha concentration camp in this city during the Second World War.

About 6,000 children passed through this first children's camp in the Ustasha-ruled Independent State of Croatia (NDH). The camp operated from 3 August 1942 until 8 January 1943, during which time about 1,200 children, aged several months to 10 years, died, Serb National Council president Milorad Pupovac recalled.

"More children would certainly have died had it not been for people who rose above the evil that reigned in people's hearts at the time, such as Diana Budisavljević and women and men around her, such as nurses, people from the Red Cross and the Caritas charity of the Zagreb Archdiocese, who tried to alleviate the horror of children being separated from their mothers and wives from their husbands," Pupovac said, adding that many residents of Sisak and Zagreb had taken in those children and saved their lives.

"That's why we have to thank those who were not only at risk of being scorned and censured but who also risked their own lives. They did what others, who were supposed to, did not want to," Pupovac said.

"This place should become a place where we would gather to show that we can rise above the evil we went through not so long ago in our country, Croatia, and in Yugoslavia.

The commemoration was organised by the Serb National Council and the Council of the Serb Minority in Sisak. It was attended, among others, by the deputy head of Sisak-Moslavina County, Mirjana Olujić, the mayor of Sisak, Kristina Ikić Baniček, representatives of the Serbian Embassy and several survivors of the camp. The memorial service was led by the Serb Orthodox parish priest Veselin Ristić.

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Friends of Croatia: UNICEF - Croatia an Example to the World When it Comes to Breastfeeding

May 27, 2021 - The sixth article in the "Friends of Croatia: UNICEF" series explores the work of the UNICEF Office for Croatia. What is done regarding children's rights in Croatia, positives, and negatives, and how can you help if you want to?

To ensure that our world even stays the same, let alone improves, new generations are essential. But, before they grow old enough to participate in society, society must first take care of the youngest ones to grow and develop. Society must ensure for kids that they grow up in families filled with love, make sure that kids can go to school, that they are healthy, safe from violence, that they are not hungry or thirsty, and give them overall opportunity to make it in the world. 

Basically, children have rights, and they are in more detail elaborated in 54 articles. For more details, have a look at the Convention on the Rights of the Child that came to power on September 2, 1990, by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly.


Regina M. Castillo, UNICEF office for Croatia representative with children with disabilities in Centre Tomislav Špoljar in Varaždin © Marin Ilej/UNICEF

The UN is dedicated to seeing this Convention is being respected, and United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund, commonly known as UNICEF, specializes in the issues of children's rights. Established in the aftermath of World War II, UNICEF has been at the frontlines of humanitarian crises, armed conflict, and natural disasters.

„Undeterred by the scale of the crises, we rise to the challenge, reimagine what is possible and respond by helping millions of children survive and thrive. Our on-the-ground expertise has reached more than 191 countries and territories, through committed partnerships and a passion for innovation“, says UNICEF on its official website.

Croatia signed and agreed with the Convention, and UNICEF today has its own office in Zagreb. Furthermore, it's worth noting that UNICEF has existed for 75 years, and despite firstly coming to Croatian territory while the country was part of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, UNICEF has been with Croatia since the organization was established.

„Many people do not know that UNICEF helped to eradicate malaria in Croatia and that UNICEF played a key role in the development of modern dairy. Dairies were built in Zagreb, Rijeka, and Split, and factories for the production of powder milk in Osijek and Županja. Milk was distributed in schools, and for many children, it was their only meal during the day“, says Regina M. Castillo, UNICEF Office for Croatia representative.


Regina M. Castillo, UNICEF office for Croatia representative © Marin Ilej/UNICEF

The UNICEF representative is elected for a five-year mandate, and Regina M. Castillo came to her function in Croatia in 2019. Her career in the UN started in 2001 and was in charge of economic and social questions in the Executive Office of the UN chief secretary Kofi Annan in New York. This was followed by Castilla moving to work in the mutual program for HIV/AIDS, known as UNAIDS. She was first the director of private sector partnerships in Geneva (2006-2012) and then moved to be the director for Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru (2012-2015). She majored in International relations and public politics.

Born in Nicaragua, she first started her career in the 1990s as a diplomat, and she was also the headmistress for international trade in the Nicaraguan Trading Ministry.  

Helping Croatia before it was cool (or an independent country)

Castillo went on to continue that after World War 2, UNICEF fed six million children every day, which included many children in Croatia.

„One of those children was our dear colleague, prof. Josip Grgurić, who is still working tirelessly for the youngest. He still remembers the yellow cheese that was part of UNICEF's humanitarian package for families, as well as the chocolate that he then tasted for the first time. He later worked at the children's hospital in Klaićeva, which UNICEF helped found, and he still works hard on UNICEF’s Child-Friendly Hospital Initiative“, says Castillo indicating how valuable but also inspiring UNICEF can be to children. Castillo added that in the Homeland War, UNICEF was the first organization on the ground, making sure that children and families received the necessary psychosocial support and humanitarian packages. After the war, they educated children on how to protect themselves from landmines. 

Today Croatia developed, joined NATO and EU, and is a modern European country. With such progress, there have been many improvements in respect to children and their rights.

„Croatia has a low mortality rate of children under the age of five, extremely low stunted growth rate due to inadequate nutrition in the first years of life and the enrolment rate of children in primary school is almost 100 per cent“, pointed out Castillo.

„Croatia is an example in the world when it comes to the promotion of breastfeeding. It is rare that all public maternity wards in a country have the status of 'Child-Friendly Hospital'. With the support of UNICEF, partners have organized a network of breastfeeding support groups, and now we have more than 200 support groups in Croatia“, added Castillo on what the world can look up to this small South-Eastern European country.


Regina M. Castillo at Human milk bank © Marin Ilej/UNICEF 

Still, there are some issues Croatia needs to address and are far from ideal at the moment.

„There are still differences when it comes to access to services for children, depending on where they live and the conditions in which they grow up. Children with disabilities, as well as children from the poorest families, especially in rural areas, often do not have the opportunity to attend kindergarten and do not have the same access to specialized health services and therapies as children in urban areas. The focus of UNICEF in Croatia is on the most marginalized children: children with disabilities or developmental delays, children growing up without adequate parental care, children from minority groups, children at the risk of poverty and exclusion. UNICEF’s programs are focused on the well-being and protection of every child, with a special focus on the most vulnerable children“, pointed out Castillo.

Campaigns and programmes such as “Every child needs a family”, “The first three are the most important”, and “Stop violence among children” are perhaps the most known public action by UNICEF in Croatia, but returning to the good practices of breastfeeding, Castillo emphasizes the establishment of the Human Milk Bank in her current mandate.

„Thanks to the Human Milk Bank, prematurely born and seriously ill newborns (who do not have access to their own mother's milk) can receive milk donated by other mothers. We continually work on reducing the risk of disasters, support the development of quality foster care and provide support to parents in the upbringing and care of children through workshops and we work a lot with young people“, said Castillo.

In general, UNICEF has different types of offices in countries, and regarding the Croatian office, it’s a Country Office. In other words, most of the resources (human and financial) are invested in programs in Croatia. Castillo says that the five-year mandates have priorities that are determined in cooperation with partners. And while 80 percent of the funds raised are invested in programs for girls and boys in Croatia, there are funds and support programs for children outside of the country.

“For example, in 2018, UNICEF supported child health care in parts of Ukraine affected by the conflict and helped the building of five inclusive children's playgrounds in two refugee camps in Jordan in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs in 2019. Through the ‘Schools for Africa’ program ​​, which includes many kindergartens and schools throughout Croatia, UNICEF supports the education of girls and boys in Madagascar", Castillo listed several examples. 


Regina M. Castillo, UNICEF office for Croatia representative with children on Media Literacy days press conference with Radovan Fuchs Minister of Science and Education, Krešimir Partl, State Secretary at Ministry of culture and media and Robert Tomljenović, Deputy Director of the Council for Electronic Media © Marin Ilej/UNICEF 

Overall, the UNICEF Office for Croatia works closely with the Croatian Government, and most notably, with the Ministries of Social Welfare, Education, Health, and the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs. Other partners also include experts (Croatian experts, but also building on expertise and good practice from all over the world), professional associations, academia, services providers, and NGOs.

“UNICEF’s goal is to connect all stakeholders and to advocate and support systemic change for the well-being of all children. System change is a gradual process, and it can be challenging, but when it comes to children’s rights, every step forward is well worth the effort”, explained Castillo.

Croatian citizens showing support for UNICEF

On one hand, Croatia is a good country with low mortality rates of kids and a role model for breastfeeding promotions. On the other hand, however, peer to peer violence (on whose suppression the aforementioned “Stop violence among children“ campaign works heavily on), and unequal approach to education between rural and urban areas show Croatia has both its ups and downs. Unfortunately. The downside sometimes overshadows all the positive things.

One such instance was the tragic death of a two-year-old girl from Nova Gradiška on Easter Sunday. The death of a severely injured girl, who was brought to Zagreb's children's hospital after suffering abuse and heavy beating from her biological parents (and from whom the girl was taken and given to a foster family but was then returned back to biological parents), sparked controversy and citizens outrage, culminating in changes in social welfare law, as well as sacks and investigations in the welfare center in Nova Gradiška.  

„We are deeply saddened by the tragic death of two-and-a-half-year-old Nikoll on Easter Sunday. There are no words to express the pain of such a terrible event. Unfortunately, there are no simple and quick solutions to prevent violence against children. For years, UNICEF in Croatia has been continuously and persistently working in the field of child protection, educating experts from the social welfare system, but also other experts who work with children and families, such as experts from the health care, education, and justice systems. UNICEF implements various support programs for parents, and it is fully committed to the development of foster care and the improvement of the legislative framework. However, UNICEF is also aware that society as a whole, has a long way to go to achieve the goal that every girl and every boy is guaranteed the best possible care and protection. UNICEF will continue to work actively, persistently, and dedicatedly with all partners to achieve it”, commented Castillo.


Regina M. Castillo talking on Media Literacy days press conference © Marin Ilej/UNICEF 

However, Croatians recognize the importance of the UNICEF mission. Before Covid, UNICEF annually collaborated with the Museum of Illusions on the Museum of Reality exhibition which displayed the problems children faced worldwide, but which also showed what changes and solutions UNICEF brought to those areas. 

“Experience tells us that citizens are ready to support the youngest, in Croatia and beyond. Implementation of our programs would not be possible without the support from citizens and companies that placed the focus of their CSR activities precisely on children. We especially value the support from our Childhood Guardians, donors who support our work with regular monthly donations and allow us to regularly conduct our programs for boys and girls, as well as react quickly with much-needed assistance in crisis situations like the earthquakes in Croatia and the COVID-19 pandemic that affected all families. UNICEF is always in the field with the most vulnerable children and their families”, notes Castillo.

In the end is important to note, that while children are recognised as a particularly vulnerable group, all human rights apply equally to children. 

“All the rights enshrined in the Convention apply to every child, regardless of a child’s country of origin, gender, religion, and nationality. Every child, by birth, has all his/her rights, the right to grow up in a safe environment, to have a family, to have access to health care and education, to be able to play and develop his/her interests and reach his/her full potential”, concludes Castillo.

The five-year mandate is an agreement that sets priorities in advance, so Castillo warned that there is no opportunity for making donations outside of that framework. UNICEF office occasionally does get messages from citizens who need advice or help on issues outside of that frame, but nevertheless, UNICEF can offer them help by referring them to institutions and addresses that can offer citizens the necessary support, financial support, or information. 

With expertise mentioned several times throughout this story as the insurance of delivering the best solutions to issues children face, UNICEF is always on the lookout for new people. If you want to make a change in the world while earning a fair wage yourself, check out what expertise UNICEF is looking for right now.


Regina M. Castillo on a foster family gathering © Marin Ilej/UNICEF 

UNICEF Croatian Office is situated on Radnička cesta 41/7. To inform the public of their work, they built a considerable presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, and Linkedin. You can also find all UNICEF-related info for Croatia on their official website, and contact them via mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on phone numbers: +385 1 2442 660 and +385 1 2442 661. You can use the website to donate to a cause in Croatia too. Additionally, there are numbers: +385 1 4095 855, +385 99 2692 196, and +385 91 621 1039 for more details on donating to Croatia as well as e-mail address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can also leave a donation to UNICEF in your will, and a phone number +385 1 3031 640 specializes for the issue in Croatia. If you find yourself in Croatia and you want to volunteer for UNICEF, more info can be found by sending a mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and on phone number +385 1 3031 646.

And of course, you can donate for a good cause to UNICEF for any action the fund is internationally involved in. 

To read more from the series "Friends of Croatia", follow TCN's dedicated page.

For more about UNICEF in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Saturday, 9 May 2020

Croatia Had One of Europe's Strongest WWII Resistance Movements

ZAGREB, May 9, 2020 - Croatia had one of the strongest resistance movements in World War II Europe, which is why it was on the side of the victors, the Croatian government said on Friday, underlining the important role of Croatia's first president Franjo Tuđman in that movement.

In a statement issued on the occasion of Victory Day, the government said that "a large number of Croatian citizens rose against Hitler's fascist regime that had conquered the whole of Europe."

The Croatian antifascist movement - the National Liberation Movement - was led mostly by Partisan units under the command of Josip Broz Tito but it also included a large number of members of the Croatian Peasant Party (HSS) and other political parties.

"It was owing to them that Croatia at the time had one of the strongest resistance movements in occupied Europe, emerging from World War II as a victor, with Istria and Dalmatia having been claimed back," the statement says, noting that the first president of modern-day Croatia, Franjo Tuđman, had been a prominent member of that movement.

Istria and Dalmatia were returned to Croatia after the capitulation of Italy and the defeat of the Ustasha regime that had ceded a part of Croatian territory to Italy.

The government said that the victory over fascism, reconciliation and the culture of remembrance "were preconditions to start building a united Europe" while the collapse of communism "enabled the European integration of almost the entire continent."

During WWII, "the darkest period in the history of humankind", "tens of thousands of people" were killed in Croatia "because of their ethnicity or political affiliation", the government said in the statement.

In the Ustasha-run concentration camp of Jasenovac, more than 83,000 Serbs, Roma, Jews, Croats and members of other ethnic groups were killed.

More info about the World War II can be found in the Politics section.

Friday, 8 May 2020

Wreaths Laid for Victory Day

ZAGREB, May 8, 2020 - On the occasion of Victory Day, May 8, and the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Zagreb, delegations of the Office of the President, the Government and the Parliament, as well as a delegation of the City of Zagreb, laid wreaths at the Tomb of National Heroes at the city's Mirogoj cemetery on Friday.

On the occasion of the two anniversaries, the Alliance of Antifascist Fighters and Antifascists (SABH) issued a statement, saying that Croatia must and should celebrate Victory Day, while the Network of Antifascist Women of Zagreb (MAZ) issued a statement warning about historical revisionism.

"The Croatian antifascist movement was very important and was actually the strongest (along with the Bosnia and Herzegovina movement) part of the Yugoslav antifascist movement, and consequently it was the strongest antifascist movement in Europe, not taking into account the occupied parts of the Soviet Union. Croatia can and should celebrate that day for many reasons," SABH said.

It noted that the antifascist coalition was a short-lived alliance of very heterogeneous and antagonised states, political movements and ideologies, temporarily united in "a bitter self-defence against aggressive Nazi-fascist states and their satellites."

The Axis states equally threatened to destroy parliamentary democracy, communism and many achievements of modern civilisation, SABH added.

MAZ issued a statement warning about the activities of historical revisionists and organisations which violated the rights of women and the LGBT community and the active incitement of intolerance towards ethnic minorities.

Intolerance is being fomented "as police mistreat and illegally deport refugees," it said.

"While we await a new beginning after the crisis caused by the pandemic, with the reconstruction of the city being the most important task, we must not allow the dregs of society to continue freely implementing reactionary policies. They cannot take away our history, which is a history of resistance and struggle for a better tomorrow," says the association.

More politics news can be found in the dedicated section.

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Jasenovac Victims' Representatives Comment on Joint Commemoration

ZAGREB, April 22, 2020 - The head of the Jewish Community of Zagreb, Ognjen Kraus, said on Wednesday that his attendance at a state-level commemoration for the victims of the Jasenovac concentration camp was an act of readiness to cooperate with the government in dealing with issues that harm Croatia's international reputation.

"I came to extend the hand of friendship and good will and to show that I'm prepared for serious talks on the situation in Croatia and the government's attitude to history," Kraus told reporters covering the event commemorating the 75th anniversary of a breakout of inmates from the World War II Ustasha-run concentration camp.

Kraus confirmed that he saw some progress in the government's attitude to history but that he was more interested in results.

"I'm more interested in results, in finally doing away with the issue of insignia, the issue of historical revisionism and everything that disgraces this country, and I want us to finally start respecting its laws and constitution," said Kraus, noting that he would not attend the state-level commemoration next year if no changes happened by then.

He added that some progress had been made, notably by the ministries of culture and education and that student visits to Jasenovac had been included in school curricula for this year.

A member of the Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS), Boris Milošević, said in parliament today that his party was glad that this year a single commemoration was taking place after separate commemorations in the past few years.

He said that the joint commemoration was an act of good will but that that did not mean "giving up the fight against historical revisionism and negation of crimes."

Hrvoje Zekanović of the Croatian Sovereigntists party remarked that one should learn the real and full truth about Jasenovac but that he would also like all participants in the Jasenovac commemoration to start having a proper attitude to the crimes committed in Škabrnja, Vukovar and Bleiburg.

The head of the SABA association of antifascist fighters, Franjo Habulin, said that some progress had been made in the authorities' attitude to antifascism and victims of fascism even though problems accumulated over the past 30 years were not being dealt with at the pace at which SABA would want them to be dealt with.

Habulin recalled that last year's commemoration of the Battle of Sutjeska was held under the prime minister's auspices and that the prime minister delivered very strong messages while opening an exhibition on the Holocaust in Zagreb earlier this year.

Habulin said that this year funds had been secured for visits by 200 classes to Jasenovac and that next year student visits to Jasenovac should become an obligatory part of the history curriculum for all schools.

Activists of the non-parliamentary Workers' Front (RF) party on Wednesday night paid tribute to the Jasenovac victims at a ceremony held near Zagreb's central railway station.

The activists screened an image of the Jasenovac Stone Flower monument and the number of the camp's victims on a locomotive put on display by the central station. The locomotive was used by the Ustasha regime for the transport of people to concentration camps, the RF said.

The party said its commemoration for the 83,145 victims of the camp and its inmates who in 1945 mounted an escape attempt was a symbolic contribution to the culture of remembrance and the fight against historical revisionism, an example of which, it said, was the fact that there was no description of the history of the locomotive on it but only technical details.

More Jasenovac news can be found in the Politics section.

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

State Leadership, Victims' Representatives Pay Tribute to Jasenovac Victims

ZAGREB, April 22, 2020 - The state leadership and representatives of ethnic minorities and antifascists on Wednesday laid wreaths and flowers at a monument in Jasenovac, paying tribute to the victims of the concentration camp that operated there in WWII and marking the 75th anniversary of an outbreak of its surviving inmates.

Early in the morning of 22 April 1945, the last group of 600 inmates decided to try to break out of the camp, where pro-Nazi Ustasha authorities interned and killed people because of their religion, ethnicity or ideological affiliation. Only 92 inmates survived.

The Jasenovac concentration camp existed 1,337 days during the Second World War, and the Jasenovac memorial centre has identified and gathered information on 83,145 victims - 39,570 men, 23,474 women and 20,101 children aged up to 14 years, who were killed.

This year's state-level commemoration was attended by the entire state leadership, which has not been the case since 2014, as well as by representatives of ethnic minorities and antifascists, who since 2016 had organised separate commemorations, arguing that Croatia is trying to rewrite the history of the Second World War.

A joint wreath was laid at the Stone Flower monument in Jasenovac by President Zoran Milanović, Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković and Prime Minister Andrej Plenković.

The parliamentary delegation also included Deputy Speaker Sinisa Hajdaš Dončić of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and SDP leader Davor Bernardić, while the government delegation also included Culture Minister Nina Obuljen Koržinek. Attending the commemoration was also Ivo Žinić, head of Sisak-Moslavina County where Jasenovac is located.

The head of the Jewish Community of Zagreb, Ognjen Kraus, the head of the Serb National Council advisory board, Milorad Pupovac, Roma minority member of parliament Veljko Kajtazi and the head of the SABA association of antifascist fighters, Franjo Habulin, each laid a flower at the monument.

Due to the current coronavirus epidemic, participants in the ceremony only laid wreaths and flowers, complying with rules of social distancing.

More news about Jasenovac can be found in the Politics section.

Tuesday, 21 April 2020

State Leadership and Representatives of Victims to Attend Commemoration at Jasenovac

ZAGREB, April 21, 2020 - The 75th anniversary of a prisoner breakout from the Jasenovac concentration camp will be marked on Wednesday with senior state officials and representatives of ethnic minorities and antifascists attending a ceremony at the Jasenovac memorial centre.

For the first time after 2014, an official commemoration of the event will be attended by the President of the Republic, the Speaker of Parliament and the Prime Minister, as well as by representatives of the Serb and Roma minorities, the Jewish community and the Alliance of Antifascist Fighters of Croatia (SABA).

Among those to pay respects to the victims of the Ustasha-run camp will be President Zoran Milanović, Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, Jewish community leader Ognjen Kraus, Serb National Council president Milorad Pupovac, MP for the Roma minority Veljko Kajtazi and SABA president Franjo Habulin.

In the past five years, former President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović sent her representative to the commemoration, while she herself paid respects to the victims alone, mainly several days before the state commemoration.

Since 2015, the ethnic minorities and antifascists have refused to attend state commemorations arguing that Croatia is trying to rewrite the history of the Second World War, and have organised separate commemorations instead.

The Jasenovac concentration camp existed 1,337 days during the Second World War, and the Jasenovac memorial centre has identified and gathered information on 83,145 victims (39,570 men, 23,474 women and 20,101 children aged up to 14 years), who were killed because of their religious, ethnic or ideological affiliation.

According to the Jasenovac memorial centre, after allied bombings of the camp in March and April 1945, in which many of the camp facilities were destroyed, the camp's commander Vjekoslav Maks Luburić ordered that all the prisoners be killed and the camp be burned down to cover up the crimes.

The last group of about 700 women were executed on the evening of 21 April 1945, when an order was given for the remaining 1,073 men to be relocated to a women's building in the eastern part of the camp.

Sensing what was going to happen to them, about 600 men led by Ante Bakotić decided to try to break out of the camp on the rainy Sunday morning of 22 April 1945. Only 92 inmates survived. A few hours afterwards, 167 prisoners working in a tannery mounted an escape attempt, with only 11 of them managing to escape.

Since this year's commemoration is being held amid the coronavirus pandemic, strict social distancing measures will be observed. The state leadership will lay a wreath at the Stone Flower monument, while other delegations will each lay a flower, and there will be no other activities.

More news about Jasenovac can be found in the Politics section.

Monday, 20 April 2020

Virtual Museum About Humanitarian D. Budisavljević in Preparation

ZAGREB, April 20, 2020 - The film "The Diary of Diana B." will premiere on TV on April 22, commemorating the escape of the last group of internees from the WW2 Jasenovac camp, and a project "From Film to Museum", dedicated to Diana Budisavljević, a great humanitarian who helped save children during the war, is underway.

The Hulahop production company said that the film would premiere on TV on the first channel of the Croatian Radio Television (HRT), on the occasion of the remembrance day for all victims and survivors of that Ustasha camp, and the same evening it will be broadcast on the first channel of Radio Television Serbia.

The future virtual museum will showcase unpublished material collected and created over many years of historical research and work on the film, and the completion of the project is planned for autumn.

"The Diary of Diana B." is a feature-length documentary "about the best people in the worst of times", among whom was certainly Diana Budisavljević, who together with a few friends organised an action that saved over 10,000 children from certain death by the end of World War II.

"The Diary of Diana B." premiered at last year's Pula Film Festival, where after eight minutes of applause from the audience it won as many as six awards, including the most important one - the Grand Golden Arena for Best Festival Film.

The film has so far won a total of 15 awards, and it played in cinemas all over Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, where it was viewed by over 65,000 people.

More Jasenovac news can be found in the Politics section.

Thursday, 12 March 2020

Parliament Speaker, Organisers Talk 75th Bleiburg Commemoration

ZAGREB, March 12, 2020 - Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković on Thursday met with representatives of the Church and the Honorary Bleiburg Platoon about the organisation of the 75th Bleiburg commemoration in Austria.

This year's commemoration should take place on May 16 under the auspices of the Croatian parliament. The participants in the meeting said its taking place would depend on developments with coronavirus.

They underlined the importance of constant contacts between Croatia and Austria in preparing the commemoration and of holding a dignified event by respecting the law and prohibiting the display of unacceptable symbols.

There will be no political speeches at this year's commemoration either, it was said.

The commemoration is held annually in Loibach Field near the town of Bleiburg, Austria for soldiers of Croatia's Nazi-allied Ustasha regime and civilians killed there at the end of World War II.

Last year's gathering was held under tighter security after Austria added symbols of the 1941-45 Independent State of Croatia to the list of banned symbols from the Nazi period.

More Beiburg news can be found in the Politics section.

Friday, 21 February 2020

Conference on Fascism and Anti-Fascism Condemns Rise of Extreme Right

ZAGREB, February 21, 2020 - Participants in a two-day conference on fascism and anti-fascism in present-day Europe, which started in Zagreb on Thursday, condemned the strengthening of extreme right politics and cases of undermining democratic values in Europe.

Addressing the event, which brought together some 50 participants from 15 European Union member states and a some countries in Croatia's neighbourhood, the leader of the SABA RH antifascist association in Croatia, Franjo Habulin, said that the re-emergence of fascism is being seen and systematic attempts to subjugate the values of anti-fascism, under the pretext of stepping-up condemnation of communism and equating Communism and Fascism.

Habulin insists that it was the Communists who played significant roles in many movements of resistance, and praised Communists in Yugoslavia for launching the movement of resistance and for ensuring its victory.

He also said that the fact that Communism is "an ideology and mindset that was never realised in the world" was being incessantly ignored.

Habulin criticised the media, education system and religious communities for downplaying the criminal character of Fascism, with the tacit approval "from some democratic governments and with the active participation of the EU."

At the start of the conference, the International Federation of Resistance Fighters the acronym of which is FIR presented its statement in which it condemns the Hanau massacre in which a 43-year-old extremist killed at least nine people as well as his own mother and then committed suicide in that German town near Frankfurt.

The FIR association extended its condolences to the families of the victims and urged politicians, NGOs, activists and anti-fascists associations to send an unequivocal message that racist violence should be prohibited.

On Friday, the second day of the conference, participants in the event are expected to adopt a declaration.

The organisers of the Zagreb conference invited representatives of anti-fascist associations from 25 European countries, including 15 EU member-states to attend the conference.

More politics news can be found in the dedicated section.

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