Anti-Fascist Struggle Day Commemorated in Brezovica near Sisak

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, June 22, 2019 – A ceremony was held in the Brezovica Forest Memorial Park near Sisak, about 60 kilometres southeast of Zagreb, on Saturday to commemorate Anti-Fascist Struggle Day.

The ceremony, organised by national, regional and local anti-fascist organisations, started with the playing of the Croatian and European anthems and a minute of silence was observed for those killed in World War II.

“Had it not been for the anti-fascist struggle, we would have had nothing to defend, and in the (1991-1995) Homeland War we successfully defended the Republic of Croatia,” said the head of the Alliance of Anti-Fascist Fighters and Anti-Fascists of Croatia (SABA), Franjo Habulin.

Seventy-eight years ago, the First Partisan Detachment was formed in Brezovica which “fanned the flames of uprising,” he said and added: “We must not close our eyes to what is happening around us.”

Habulin expressed concern about “little progress” made in Croatia regarding the perception of anti-fascism.

This year’s ceremony was held without the presence of top state officials, who sent their envoys. Among those attending were former presidents Ivo Josipovic and Stjepan Mesić and former SDP prime minister and leader Zoran Milanović, who were all greeted with loud applause.

The First Sisak Partisan Detachment was formed on June 22, 1941 as the first anti-Hitler unit in Nazi-occupied Europe and it marked the beginning of the armed struggle for national liberation in Croatia. It was established by Communist Party members in Sisak on the day Nazi Germany attacked the Soviet Union and initially had 77 fighters.

Croatia has observed Anti-Fascist Struggle Day on June 22 since it gained independence in the early 1990s.

President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović has extended her best wishes for Anti-Fascist Struggle Day. “A large part of the Croatian people and citizens of other nationalities sided with the anti-fascist resistance against the occupation by the Axis Powers during World War II.

“By the decisions of the State Anti-Fascist Council for the National Liberation of Croatia (ZAVNOH), the Federal State of Croatia established within the former federal community of States was the expression of the continuity and the aspirations of Croatian anti-fascists to preserve Croatian Statehood, becoming a State legal basis for the proclamation and international recognition of the independent Republic of Croatia, which we defended and liberated in the Homeland War as a historical expression of the Croatian people’s lasting aspiration for an independent State,” Grabar-Kitarović said in her message on Saturday.

More news about Second World War and Croatia can be found in the Politics section.


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