Once again, the official commemorations at Jasenovac concentration camp will not be attended by Jewish representatives.
Representatives of the Jewish religious community in Croatia will this year again skip the official commemoration events at Jasenovac on 22 April. The Coordination of Jewish Communities will hold its own separate commemoration two days later, reports tportal.hr on March 18, 2017.
“We will not participate in the official commemorations at Jasenovac. On 24 April, we will mark Yom HaShoah, the Holocaust Remembrance Day, at Jasenovac instead at the Mirogoj Cemetery in Zagreb”, said the president of the Coordination Ognjen Kraus.
The Bet Israel Jewish religious community earlier also decided that it would not attend the official commemorations at Jasenovac, to protest the fact that the government has not taken steps to counter tendencies in the society which tolerate the Ustasha ideology. “The consequence of such flirtation with one part of Croatian history directly affects the atmosphere in the society, in which the Ustasha crimes are being relativized, at all levels, while at the same time xenophobia and anti-Semitism are being spread”, announced Beth Israel.
The Union of Anti-Fascist Fighters and Anti-Fascists of Croatia will make its decision on whether to participate in the official commemorations at Jasenovac during the session of its executive board on Tuesday. “So far, no one has contacted us from parliament and we are not familiar with plans for the commemorations. The decision will be made next week”, said association president Franjo Habulin.
The Serb National Council, the national coordination of Serbian minority councils, has also not yet taken a decision. They said they would inform the public about it in due course.
Last year, the official commemorations at Jasenovac were not attended by representatives of the Jewish community, as well as representatives of the Serb National Council and anti-fascist organizations, because they believed that the trend of revitalization of the Ustasha movement was present in Croatian society.
From August 1941 to April 1945, Jasenovac was a death camp where the Ustasha regime killed men, women and children due to their religious, national or ideological affiliation. The list of individual victims of the camp lists the names and details for 83,145 victims – 39,570 men, 23,474 women and 20,101 children under fourteen years of age. Most of the victims were Serbs, Roma, Jews and Croats.