Anniversary of Partisan Uprising in Srb Marked

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, July 28, 2019 – A political rally and a counter-rally were held in Donji Srb on Saturday, the former by the Serb National Council (SNV), the SABA antifascist alliance and Gračac Municipality to mark the Partisan uprising by the people of the Lika region, and the latter, held behind police barricades, by the non-parliamentary Autochthonous Croatian Party of Rights (A-HSP).

Zadar police reported no major incidents and no arrests.

SNV president Boris Milošević said to those downplaying the significance of the rally and disrupting it that it “only celebrates the uprising of the people of Croatia”, which he said had been the joint uprising of Croats and Serbs. He added that those calling it a criminal and a Chetnik rally aimed at overthrowing the Croatian state were ill-meaning.

Antifascism is written into the Croatian constitution based on that 1941 uprising, in which there were also innocent victims but they cannot dispute its righteousness and legitimacy, Milosevic said.

SABA president Franjo Habulin advocated putting an end to historical revisionism, saying the future could be built only in unity that was based on better living conditions for everyone, in freedom and equality.

Zoran Pusić of the Antifascist League said the most significant contribution of antifascism were freedom, equality and unity. He condemned historical revisionism and the “defence” of the Ustasha ideology which he said had been a “copy of Nazism.”

MP Milorad Pupovac of the Independent Democratic Serb Party said the horrors of the Independent State of Croatia (NDH) committed between April and July 1941 and the mass murder of Serbs, Jews, Roma and persons of different views had resulted in the Communist Party-led Partisan uprising in Srb.

Until the Partisan movement became institutionalised, the insurgents also committed crimes, he said, calling for a minute’s silence for all victims, innocent Serbs and Croats.

Both Croats and Serbs took part in the uprising, making the antifascist struggle one for equality, freedom and justice, Pupovac said, adding that it was therefore necessary for the spirit of antifascism to take over Croatia. It will show that the Croatian people cannot be fully free until Serbs in Croatia have the same feeling of freedom, he said.

The victory of the antifascist coalition made peace, stability and progress in Europe possible, Pupovac said. “The heirs of this uprising and freedom-loving tradition have the full responsibility to say in Srb that further negation of antifascism could lead Croatia and Europe and any other country into catastrophe.”

German MP Martine Renner, who attended the commemoration, spoke of the “historic achievements of the resistance and victory over a brutal fascist occupation.” She said the military successes of the Partisans had made possible the umbrella Partisan organisation AVNOJ (Anti-Fascist Council for the National Liberation of Yugoslavia) and for the Allies to recognise it as a rightful representative of the occupied Yugoslavia.

“Aside from defeating fascism, they set the foundations for a socialist experiment, whose successes and defeats are still important as a contribution to the collective experience of leftist policies,” said Renner.

SABA honorary president and former Croatian president Stjepan Mesić said Yugoslavia had not been a totalitarian but an authoritarian state. He criticised incumbent President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović for saying that Yugoslavia had been behind the Iron Curtain.

He said the NDH had been neither independent nor Croatian but a Quisling state. He added that revisionism should be stopped by reforming education and raising children, and called on the government to ban every use of the “For the homeland ready” Ustasha salute.

About 200 metres away, representatives of the A-HSP held a counter-rally, carrying a banner which said “Bloody Srb” and saluting with “For the homeland ready”.

A-HSP president Dražen Keleminec told reporters they were protesting for the tenth year in Srb so that “the lie doesn’t become the truth.” He called the Srb uprising a Chetnik crime and today’s commemoration a Chetnik party.

More news about events connected with the World War II can be found in the Politics section.


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