PM Pays Respect to Victims of Totalitarian and Authoritarian Regimes on Goli Otok

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, Aug 23, 2020 – Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic on Sunday laid a wreath and lit a candle at monuments on Goli Otok on the occassion of the European Day of Remembrance for victims of all totalitarian and authoritarian regimes, underscoring that it is important to nurture a culture of remembrance.

A government’s memorial plaque had been erected there in memory of the victims of the communist regime killed on Goli Otok and in memory of victims of all totalitarian and authoritarian regimes.

“It is important that we nurture a culture of remembrance, without truth there is no awareness or respect for the victims and ultimately no reconciliation in the context of every European nation, including Croatia,” Plenkovic underscored.

“On the occassion of the European Day of Remembrance for the victims of all totalitarian and authoritarian regimes, we are today on Goli Otok to pay tribute, in this particular case, to the victims of the communist regime, a totalitarian regime which marked the history of the 20th century, as well as of Croatia and the Crotian people,” PM Plenkovic said.

Asked by reporters whether this visit was a correction of injustice, since prime ministers earlier often did not visit Goli Otok, Plenkovic said that it had been his wish to come to Goli Otok this year. “I am not the first prime minister on Goli Otok, in fact, the government’s memorial plaque dates from ten years ago. Two years ago the parliament speaker was here, delegations often came, and this year I wanted to visit it personally and pay tribute,” the Prime Minister added.

Asked whether this was a new direction for Croatia, since tribute will be paid in other places as well, Plenkovic said that these were separate things.

“We are here for the European Day of Remembrance in the context of totalitarian systems. Deputy Prime Minister (Tomo) Medved’s visit to Grubori on August 25 with Deputy Prime Minister (Boris) Milosevic is of a different character. It has to do with crimes committed, first of all, against the Croatian people in the Homeland War, and then, unfortunately, with several omissions, misdeeds against citizens of Serb ethnicity in Croatia. I think it is good that we show respect to all victims,” Plenkovic said.

Sea, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Oleg Butkovic and the PM’s advisor Zvonko Kusic also visited Goli Otok.

Goli Otok, which translates as Barren Island, is a northern Adriatic island. During the First World War, prisoners of war were interned on Goli Otok. Since 1948 the Goli Otok and Sveti Grgur prison camps operated for political prisoners. In 1956 Goli Otok was transformed into a regular prison. The prison closed down in 1988.

“Our complex history, like that of many peoples in Europe, is marked by great suffering. So today we condemn all totalitarian regimes and pay tribute to victims of all totalitarian regimes,” Veterans’ Affairs Minister Tomo Medved said while lighting candles at Zagreb’s Mirogoj cemetery on the occasion of the European Day of Remembrance for victims of all totalitarian and authoritarian regimes.


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