The central mass celebration on the Bleiburg field has ended, with the Austrian police arresting one person due to a Nazi salute
The central commemoration marking the 72nd anniversary of the Bleiburg tragedy took place on the Bleiburg field in Austria, organised by the Honorary Bleiburg Squad and co-organised by the Directorate of Pastors for Croats Abroad, under the auspices of the Croatian Parliament, Dnevnik.hr reported on May 13, 2017.
The Parliament delegation led by Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković and State Assets Minister Goran Marić as the emissary of President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, laid wreaths to honour the victims of Bleiburg. A wreath was also laid down by Vesna Cvjetković, Croatian Ambassador in Austria.
The commemoration organiser estimated around 15.000 people were present, citing the arrival of around 100 buses from Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina and around fifty from the rest of Europe.
Carinthia police reported the arrest of one person during the commemoration due to a ”Nazi salute” and estimated the presence of around eight to ten thousand people.
The commemoration began at 11:00 with a prayer at Unterloibach cemetery, from where a procession headed out to the altar space on the Bleiburg field.
The central mass celebration was led by Đakovo-Osijek archbishop Đuro Hranić, after which the commemoration continued with speeches from notable guests, representatives of sponsors and organisers and the laying of wreaths.
“Now that the truth, despite being hindered, is coming through, our prayer for nameless victims is under threat. All of you who bear this burden, I humbly ask to take no action to aid those who want to prevent the discovery of the truth about the victims. I ask of you to refrain from anything which could divert attention from uncovering the truth on victims and crimes of the totalitarian communist system,” said during mass archbishop Hranić.
Alongside Parliament Speaker Jandroković, present were also Deputy Speaker Milijan Brkić and MPs Miro Kovač, Ivica Mišić, Josip Đakić, Ivan Šipić and Zlatko Hasanbegović.
Hasanbegović was asked by journalists why, in his opinion, the Prime Minister Andrej Plenković is not present, to which he replied they should ask the PM, but did not criticise further.