Simon Wiesenthal Centre Demands Resignation of Croatian Culture Minister

Total Croatia News

International attention on Croatia’s choice as Minister of Culture.

Simon Wiesenthal Centre has expressed “shock and indignation” due to some actions and comments of the new Croatian Culture Minister Zlatko Hasanbegović and called on the Croatian government to immediately dismiss him due to his attitude towards the Croatian resistance movement against fascism during World War II, reports Vecernji List on February 6, 2015.

“We urge the Croatian government to replace Mr. Hasanbegović with a person suitable for the post of Minister of Culture who will bring honor and prestige to the post, rather than embarrass his country before the entire world”, Efraim Zuroff, Israel and Eastern Europe Affairs Director of the Centre, said in his statement.

The press release states that a number of concerned Croatian citizens have drawn attention over the past two days to actions and statements of Minister Hasanbegović. The statement released by Zuroff says that the Centre sought to express the outrage caused by Minister Hasanbegović’s publication of the book about Holocaust commemoration by the discredited American (Jewish) author Norman Finkelstein and by his baseless and totally inaccurate comments regarding the history of Croatia during World War II and the Holocaust.

“The mere fact that Hasanbegović has published the book is sufficient reason to disqualify him from serving as a minister in the government of a European Union member”, the statement continues and accuses the Minister for refusal to recognize the genocidal nature of the Ustasha regime and for his disdain for the Croatian antifascists who fought against it. It adds that this is an “absolutely baseless” revision of the history of World War II and the Holocaust which is “absolutely unacceptable”.

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre is one of the largest international Jewish organizations for the protection of human rights with more than 400,000 branches in the United States. It is a non-governmental organization accredited with the United Nations, UNESCO, OSCE, Council of Europe and other international agencies.

The appointment of historian Zlatko Hasanbegović for the new Croatian Culture Minister has provoked criticism and demands for his resignation by Croatian opposition and some NGOs which consider as unacceptable some of his statements on Croatian antifascism. Minister Hasanbegović has rejected the criticism as unfounded.


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