ZAGREB, January 24, 2020 – The Croatian Parliament on Friday observed a minute’s silence for all Holocaust victims, with Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković saying that the victims must remain in the collective memory of humankind so that those atrocities are never repeated.
International Holocaust Remembrance Day is marked on January 27 when the entire world pays deep respect to the victims of Nazi persecution and genocide of the Jewish people and to all victims of the Nazi and fascist regimes during World War II, Jandroković recalled.
“It is with special respect that we also remember all those who survived the Holocaust and their families,” he underscored, noting that earlier in the morning a delegation laid wreaths in the Jewish section of the Mirogoj Cemetery in Zagreb.
Jandroković said that this is the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp, adding that Croatia was participating in that commemoration at the highest level.
President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović attended the Fifth World Holocaust Forum at the Yad Vashem memorial museum while Prime Minister Andrej Plenković will participate in the official commemoration of the liberation of Auschwitz in Poland on Monday.
“That camp of death, terror and cruelty symbolises other places where genocide of the Jewish people occurred along with the systematic annihilation of other unwanted groups during the Nazi and fascist regimes in which atrocities were committed against six million innocent people whose only fault – according to the monstrous Nazi ideology – was that they were different from the chosen ones,” underscored Jandroković.
“We permanently pledge that we will never forget the Holocaust and the names of all the victims, as well as all those courageous people who opposed the Nazi and fascist regimes and helped the Jewish people – including 118 Croatians who are Righteous Among the Nations,” he added.
“As a country with a painful historical experience of a totalitarian and criminal regime, today we remember and pay our respects to Jews and other people and their families who were killed during the Criminal Ustasha regime.”
“Today we also accept the responsibility that we will always prevent antisemitism, racism, xenophobia and discrimination in our societies and that we will permanently promote the democratic ideal of respecting every person and their inviolable dignity,” Jandroković said.
Addressing lawmakers in the Sabor, Jandroković said that for some time now there has been an obvious increase in Europe of hate speech and hate crime, racism, xenophobia and intolerance toward minorities and other vulnerable groups – including the Jews.
The growing antisemitism is contrary to the fundamental values and respect for human rights that any democratic society is founded on and is a threat to peace, freedom, pluralism and democracy, he added.
As a result, numerous European institutions have adopted documents that call for the promotion of awareness of the need for prevention and continuing fight against anti-semitisim.
In 2005 Croatia joined the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) which unites governments and experts to strengthen, advance and promote Holocaust education, research and remembrance particularly among the young but also to promote awareness of the need to combat growing Holocaust denial and antisemitism.
In 2016 the alliance adopted a working definition of antisemitism recommending that all countries use that non-binding document as a guideline on how to recognise antisemitism and as educational material about the holocaust.
The Croatian Parliament’s Education, Science and Culture Committee on Thursday adopted a conclusion encouraging state institutions and civil society organisations to promote the working definition of antisemitism, concluded Jandroković.
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