Serbia to Present Exhibition on Jasenovac Concentration Camp at UN

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, January 25, 2018 – Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić is due to open an exhibition on the Jasenovac concentration camp at the UN headquarters in New York on Thursday evening.

Media in Belgrade say that Croatia has tried in every way to stop the exhibition from being staged, but gave up after UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres personally gave the go-ahead. The UN, however, distanced itself from the content of the exhibition.

The exhibition, entitled “Jasenovac – The Right Not to Forget”, is the work of a group of historians from seven countries.

The Večernje Novosti newspaper was told by diplomatic sources that the government in Zagreb objected to the display of a photograph of Alojzije Stepinac, the primate of the Catholic Church in Croatia during World War II, the mentioning of his mission to convert Christian Orthodox Serbs to Catholicism, and the number of people killed in Jasenovac.

Večernje Novosti said that Zagreb obviously did not want the world to hear the truth about atrocities committed in Jasenovac, adding that such a stance had prompted Dačić to ask for and receive permission from the UN Secretary-General to organise the exhibition. However, the UN has said that the content of the exhibition is the organisers’ responsibility and that its staging on UN premises does not imply acceptance by the UN.

According to a statement by the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the exhibition will present Serbia through a Serbian-Jewish multimedia project to mark the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The exhibition is organised by the GH7 group of historians from seven countries, headed by Israeli professor Gideon Greif, an expert on the concentration camps Auschwitz, Majdanek, Jasenovac and the Sonderkommand. It will be their first exhibition at the UN 72 years after the end of WWII.

“The exhibition represents a modest contribution to the preservation of the universal values of humanity and the global efforts of the UN in preventing the revision and rehabilitation of neo-Nazi and neo-fascist ideologies of exclusion and all forms of discrimination and fanaticism,” the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release on its website.

The Serbian-Jewish academic project “Jasenovac” is part of cooperation under the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Serbian Ministry of Education and the Shem Olam Holocaust Institute in March 2017 with the aim of jointly organising exhibitions, scientific conferences and education programmes about Jasenovac, the press release says.

Survivors of the Jasenovac, Rab and Pag camps were announced as special guests at the opening of the exhibition.

Jasenovac was the largest concentration camp in the Independent State of Croatia, a Nazi-puppet state founded in 1941 by members of the Ustasha movement.


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