“Jasenovac is a painful and tragic part of Croatian history, and a lasting memory and strong condemnation of that crime are part of our culture of remembrance,” Plenković said at a cabinet meeting.
He said 7,500 Auschwitz inmates were liberated on 27 January 1945 and that 1.1 million people were killed in that concentration camp, including nearly a million Jews.
As the most infamous concentration camp, Auschwitz is synonymous with the most horrific crimes and the gravest suffering of the Jewish people as well as with the systematic destruction of other ethnic groups persecuted by the Nazi regime.
Under that regime, the world witnessed the persecution and genocide of more than 11 million people in Europe since 1933, including six million Jews, of whom 1.5 million were children.
Those are horrifying numbers of one of the worst crimes in the history of humankind, Plenković said.
Intolerance and hate are increasingly present in the world and our society
Today tribute is also being paid to the 112 Croatian Righteous among the Nations who, with their courage and humanity, opposed evil and risked their own lives to save another.
The 2005 UN resolution which designated International Holocaust Remembrance Day rejects any Holocaust denial and unreservedly condemns all forms of religious intolerance, incitement, harassment, or violence against persons or communities on ethnic or religious grounds, Plenković said.
“The day when we remember the Holocaust victims is also the day when we should think about the world we live in, including the circumstances in Croatia,” he said, adding that, unfortunately, intolerance, the denial of historical facts, discrimination, and hate speech are increasingly present in the world as well as in Croatian society.
“Those are bad and harmful trends and we should fight against them. Such rhetoric should be clearly condemned and the judicial authorities should punish it in line with the legislative framework. The victims we are remembering today are a reminder and a warning of the dimensions of evil which can come out of hate and totalitarian ideologies,” Plenković said.
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