Jewish community commemorates Jasenovac death camp victims

NEWS 28.04.202221:01 0 komentara
Josip Regovic/PIXSELL

Yom HaShoah, a day of remembrance for the six million Jews killed in Nazi and fascist concentration camps in World War II, was commemorated by the Flower memorial in Jasenovac on Thursday.

The head of the Jewish Community of Zagreb and of the Coordinating Committee of Jewish Communities of Croatia, Ognjen Kraus, greeted the Holocaust survivors as well as all participants in the commemoration.

He expressed hope “they have come here with the same motive, for the same reasons and with the same feelings” and stressed that Jasenovac had been the biggest site in the Nazi-allied Independent State of Croatia (NDH) where people were killed under racial laws and that there had been more than 50 death camps in the NDH.

Close to 35,000 Jews vanished in the NDH, which is more than 80% of the Jewish population at the time, he said.

Today’s commemoration is dedicated to the victims of all concentration camps – in addition to Jews, racial laws were also applied against Roma and Serbs, and to antifascists who were killed as opponents of the Ustasha regime, “the most shameful episode in Croatian history,” said Kraus.

Kraus said he greeted all with whom the Jewish community fights together for the Croatia that won WWII with the Allies, on the foundations of the National Anti-Fascist Council of the People’s Liberation of Croatia (ZAVNOH) and the principles of European civilisation.

The theme of this year’s Yom HaShoah are deportations of Jews to concentration camps, and most deportations in the NDH ended in the Jasenovac death camp, said Kraus.

The chief rabbi of Croatia, Luciano Mose Prelevic, said a prayer at the Jasenovac commemoration.

The event was attended, among others, by members of parliament representing ethnic minorities – Milorad Pupovac, Veljko Kajtazi and Furio Radin, the head of the SABA association of antifascist fighters, Franjo Habulin, and an advisor to Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, academician Zvonko Kusic.

President Zoran Milanovic had been expected to attend the commemoration, however on Thursday morning there was a change in protocol and he travelled to Split instead to attend a ceremony marking the 31st anniversary of the 4th Guards Brigade, which was also expected to be attended by PM Plenkovic.

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