The victims were residents of Baćin, Cerovljani, and Hrvatska Dubica. A dozen residents are unaccounted for. Nobody has been imprisoned for the crime as seven perpetrators are out of the reach of the Croatian authorities.
In his address at the commemoration, President Zoran Milanović asked who were the criminals who could execute so many old and infirm people in such a cowardly and cold-blooded manner.
He said not all victims were the same as these were especially vulnerable people who only wanted to stay in their homes.
“If there is heaven and hell, I want to know which place in hell is reserved for such guys. People who were our neighbors, policemen, butchers, shopkeepers until yesterday all of a sudden become brutal murderers and have no problem executing dozens of old and infirm people,” Milanović said.
“I’m confident that, thanks to the defenders and the Croatian knights, that time is over and that a happier and mora banal time of human kindness has come.”
He said the culture of remembrance which he promoted included reciprocity.
“That means, if I respect the victims of another close people, then I also have the human expectation that a representative of that people be here, that we shake hands. That’s what we’re missing. This is an invitation, an extended hand, and the other one is not on the trigger, it’s also extended, but without reciprocity and understanding, without admission, not repentance, there is no normal living. This is my invitation to those who are the successors or representatives of those who besmirched the Serbian name here, that we sit down, talk and respect each other,” the president said.
Parliamentary envoy Marijana Petir said the municipality of Hrvatska Dubica suffered greatly in the Homeland War, becoming a symbol of resistance and, with 137 killed, a symbol of suffering.
Government envoy Špiro Janović said it was necessary to turn to the future and called on war veterans “to invest new effort so that Croatia can become the country we wish it to be.”
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