Controversial Memorial Plaque Moved from Jasenovac

Total Croatia News

The plaque will be moved to Novska, a nearby town.

The controversial memorial plaque with the Ustasha slogan “For Homeland Ready” has been removed from Jasenovac this morning. It will be moved to the nearby town of Novska, reports Novi List on September 7, 2017.

The plaque was removed by workers of the local municipal company, under the supervision and protection of the police. According to media reports, the plaque was guarded last night by several war veterans, but they went home around midnight.

The memorial plaque with the Ustasha slogan will be moved to a memorial for war veterans in Novska.

Minister of Veterans Affairs Tomo Medved said this morning that the government was in discussions about the plaque with the HOS veterans associations, whose members the plaque commemorates. “We are in intensive dialogue, with full respect towards the victims, the Croatian defenders who have given their lives in that area,” said Medved this morning.

In addition to the fact that it contains the slogan which was used during the Nazi-puppet Independent State of Croatia, the plaque was additionally controversial because it was located in Jasenovac, which was the site of the largest Ustasha-run concentration camp in Croatia.

The HOS veterans’ representatives held a press conference later in the day, confirming that the plaque had been removed with their blessing. “This has been going on for too long, and we are tired of everything. We put the plaque in order to pay homage. I think it is time to sort some things out in Croatia. We have not slept for nights; this is not easy for us. Compromise, solution and dialogue were necessary for permission to be given for the plaque to be removed, such as it is, without any changes and with all the symbols that the HOS members used during the war. This must not be altered. The plaque will be moved, but the HOS war insignia will remain. We are not fascists,” said the HOS veterans.

Another speaker at the press conference, Marko Skejo, a former commander of a HOS unit which was named after Ustasha war criminal Rafael Boban, did not miss out on the opportunity to stir up nationalist passions. “We are not happy. We are in the position that the plaque is being removed by those who killed Croatian children, together with the Chetniks, those who are still sending messages against the Croatian state,” said Skejo, ending his speech with the “For Homeland Ready” greeting.

War veterans’ representatives also said that they had received a certification from the Ministry of Administration which confirmed that they are allowed to use insignia which includes the slogan. “The slogan has been legalised related to the HOS usage.”

Predrag Štromar, Deputy Prime Minister and president of HNS, HDZ’s coalition partner, said he did not know about the Ministry’s decision. “The slogan is not acceptable for HNS. When the time comes for the law to ban the symbols of totalitarian regimes, we will not support that slogan”, said Štromar.

“I do not know anything about it. When the law is passed, there will certainly be no place for the slogan. The government should propose the legislation to the Parliament. We should finally solve the problems of the past and focus on the reforms,” said Štromar, adding once again that he did not know about the Ministry’s decision.

He stated that the government could propose the law by March 2018.


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