Minister: Croats Among Victors of WW2, Tuđman Proposes 22 June as Holiday

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The Partisan movement brought together many Croatian citizens of different ethnic backgrounds and different religious confessions who were united by their wish to defeat Fascism and ensure peace said Malenica, who attended the event as the government and PM Andrej Plenković’s envoy.

“That joint goal was also recognised by the first Croatian president, Franjo Tuđman, who himself was a member of the resistance movement (in the 1941-1945 war) and in 1991 he proposed that 22 June should be observed as a national public holiday,” said Malenica.

Croatia observes 22 June as a national public holiday in memory of 22 June 1941 when the first Partisan detachment and the first anti-Fascist unit in this part of Europe was founded near Sisak.

Tuđman’s efforts to define the fundamental elements of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia also sent a clear message that anti-Fascism is part of our identity and the history of the Croatian people, which is inbuilt in our statehood, said Malenica.

Accepting both one’s own good and bad things in the past is a sign of the maturity of a nation, the minister added.

Unfortunately, some of the Croats took part in the Ustasha movement and cooperated with Nazis and Fascists who caused unthinkable suffering and left behind consequences we are ashamed of when looking backwards, said Malenica explaining that during the Ustasha-led Independent State of Croatia (NDH), many atrocities were committed against Jews, Roma, Serbs and those Croats who opposed the Ustasha regime.

Commenting on mass murders in the wake of WW2, the minister said that “extrajudicial mass killings and removal of different-minded people cannot be justified with ideals.”

“Those crimes cannot be eliminated from collective memory. They cannot be erased from our past. We must speak about that and those crimes must be unequivocally condemned,” said Malenica.

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