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Croatia: Jewish community boycotts official Holocaust commemoration

6.2.2017 6:33
This stone sculpture of a flower is a memorial to the victims of the WWII-era Jasenovac concentration camp in Croatia. (PHOTO:  Wikipedia.org)
This stone sculpture of a flower is a memorial to the victims of the WWII-era Jasenovac concentration camp in Croatia. (PHOTO: Wikipedia.org)

The Associated Press has reported that the Jewish community in Croatia has boycotted the official state ceremony held on the occasion of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on 27 January. The decision was meant to protest the Croatian Government not doing enough, in the Jewish community's view, to suppress pro-Nazi sentiment in the country.

Ognjen Kraus of the Jewish community in Croatia said authorities have failed to remove a plaque posted in the town of Jasenovac that includes a Fascist greeting. The town was the site of a concentration camp that is colloquially referred to as the "Croatian Auschwitz".

The call of "Za dom - spremni!" ("For the homeland - prepared!") was the official greeting of Fascist Croatia during the Second World War. A plaque inscribed with the greeting has been displayed in Jasenovac to celebrate Croatian fighters who died during the wars of the 1990s.

"That should have been dealt with quickly, through a Government order, or legislation, but nothing has been done about it," Kraus said. "Instead we are witnessing an escalation of the situation... who will stop it?" 

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovič said the entire topic is very "sensitive". State representatives laid a wreath at the Jewish cemetery in Zagreb as part of paying their respects to Holocaust victims on the international day.

brf, ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Balkan, Croatia, genocide, Holocaust



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