ZAGREB, April 22, 2020 – The state leadership and representatives of ethnic minorities and antifascists on Wednesday laid wreaths and flowers at a monument in Jasenovac, paying tribute to the victims of the concentration camp that operated there in WWII and marking the 75th anniversary of an outbreak of its surviving inmates.
Early in the morning of 22 April 1945, the last group of 600 inmates decided to try to break out of the camp, where pro-Nazi Ustasha authorities interned and killed people because of their religion, ethnicity or ideological affiliation. Only 92 inmates survived.
The Jasenovac concentration camp existed 1,337 days during the Second World War, and the Jasenovac memorial centre has identified and gathered information on 83,145 victims – 39,570 men, 23,474 women and 20,101 children aged up to 14 years, who were killed.
This year’s state-level commemoration was attended by the entire state leadership, which has not been the case since 2014, as well as by representatives of ethnic minorities and antifascists, who since 2016 had organised separate commemorations, arguing that Croatia is trying to rewrite the history of the Second World War.
A joint wreath was laid at the Stone Flower monument in Jasenovac by President Zoran Milanović, Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković and Prime Minister Andrej Plenković.
The parliamentary delegation also included Deputy Speaker Sinisa Hajdaš Dončić of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and SDP leader Davor Bernardić, while the government delegation also included Culture Minister Nina Obuljen Koržinek. Attending the commemoration was also Ivo Žinić, head of Sisak-Moslavina County where Jasenovac is located.
The head of the Jewish Community of Zagreb, Ognjen Kraus, the head of the Serb National Council advisory board, Milorad Pupovac, Roma minority member of parliament Veljko Kajtazi and the head of the SABA association of antifascist fighters, Franjo Habulin, each laid a flower at the monument.
Due to the current coronavirus epidemic, participants in the ceremony only laid wreaths and flowers, complying with rules of social distancing.
More news about Jasenovac can be found in the Politics section.