One day before the official commemoration, Prime Minister Tihomir Orešković visits Bleiburg.
Prime Minister Tihomir Orešković visited on Friday Bleiburg, where he lit candles in memory of the victims of the Bleiburg tragedy and the victims of the “Way of the Cross”, reports Večernji List on May 13, 2016.
“Throughout its history, Croatian people have suffered a lot of injustice and tragedy. One of the greatest tragedies occurred during and after the World War II. Bleiburg and stations of the ‘Way of Cross’ symbolize the tragedy of the Croatian people that occurred in the wake of the victory over fascism and Nazism. Then the totalitarian communist regime committed massive acts of violence which represented violation of fundamental human rights, including the most valuable human right – the right to life”, said Orešković.
“Each victim deserves respect. Each victim has a name and surname and a family which grieves for them. It is tragic that we still do not know the final resting place for the majority of victims, even 70 years after World War II. When today, as a proud member of the European Union, Croatia is developing a democratic society that respects the dignity of every person, we must be united in condemnation of all crimes. The tragic events of our past cannot be changed, but we are obliged to draw lessons from them and do everything that such a thing does not happen again. I urge all who will pay tribute to the victims here tomorrow to do it with dignity and with respect, because the reason for marking this tragedy is the expression of respect to the victims”, concluded Orešković in a statement.
It is expected that tomorrow’s commemoration will be attended by Parliament Speaker Željko Reiner, First Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Karamarko and an envoy of President Kolinda Grabar-Kitaroivić.
In May 1945, Bleiburg was the initial location of a series of mass killings, in which thousands of members of the Croatian Home Guard and the Ustasha units were executed by members of the Partisan forces. The annual gathering in Bleiburg, which is in today’s Austria, regularly draws thousands of people, some of whom use the opportunity to promote extreme right-wing views.