Parliament Speaker Lays Wreath at Bleiburg

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, May 16, 2019 – Croatian Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković on Thursday laid wreaths at a monument in the Loibach field near the Austrian town of Bleiburg, saying that he came to pay tribute to all victims and dismissing what he described as attempts to politicise his act and noting that he did not come to downplay the nature of the World War II Ustasha regime.

“I came here to pay tribute to the victims, to people who were killed without a verdict and out of revenge, who were thrown into mass graves and whose identities and exact number we do not know. Some speak of tens of thousands, some of a higher number, and it is the duty of us all to commemorate those victims,” Jandroković told reporters after he and his associates laid wreaths at the monument to the victims of the Bleiburg tragedy.

The Bleiburg commemorations are held in tribute to tens of thousands of Croatian civilians and soldiers of the defeated pro-Nazi Independent State of Croatia (NDH) who surrendered to allied forces there in May 1945, but were handed over by British troops to Yugoslav forces. Some were executed on the spot, while many perished during so-called death marches back to Yugoslavia.

“We also must condemn crimes. This is a crime of the Communist regime with which it showed that it did not care about human rights or international conventions, and it paved the way to the subsequent totalitarian rule, human rights breaches and the lack of democracy and freedom,” said Jandroković.

Asked by reporters why he would not attend the official commemoration, scheduled for May 18, Jandroković said: “Because I decided to come here today. I want to commemorate the victims and condemn the communist crime.”

He was then asked if the reason why he would not attend the official commemoration was the fact that he had been booed at last year’s commemoration, to which he answered in the negative.

“I am against the politicisation of any gathering at which tribute is paid to victims. I would like all of us in Croatia to embrace the culture of remembering the victims of totalitarian regimes as something that is a civilisational achievement and our obligation to those who live in Croatia today and to the future generations.”

It is up to the parliament speaker to decide who his envoys will be, but here we commemorate a tragic event and sending any political messages would be inappropriate, Jandroković said when asked why none of the deputy parliament speakers would attend the official commemoration, except for Milijan Brkić, who said that he would attend the event as a private person.

“Croatia has laws and we should all respect them as regards Ustasha symbols. The prime minister established a commission that discussed the legacy of totalitarian regimes and made certain conclusions. I think that we should respect those conclusions and enforce them through laws,” said Jandroković.

Asked who the 1945 Croatian army was to which he paid tribute by laying a wreath at the monument in the Loibach field, Jandroković said that he dismissed “any attempt at politicisation at this site.”

“I came here to bow to the victims, I did not come to downplay the nature of the Ustasha regime or the NDH.”

Before visiting Bleiburg, Jandroković and his associates laid wreaths at monuments to people killed in the aftermath of World War II at the Dobrava cemetery near Maribor, Slovenia, and they are expected to lay wreaths on their way back to Croatia at Macelj, a town on the border with Slovenia.

More news about the controversial Bleiburg commemoration can be found in the Politics section.


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment