Jasenovac Memorial held in Serbia Among Controversy

Posted on April 20th, 2016 by:

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Jasenovac Memorial held in Serbia Among Controversy

On April 15, 2016, at the Jasenovac concentration camp, a prayer for the dead and a ceremony of placing stones at the foot of the “Flower” Monument was held for the victims of the Ustasha. The Ustasha was the Croation fascist government, who in collaboration with the Nazi’s, sent thousands to die in local death camps including 75% of Croatia’s 40,000 Jews. From August 1941 to April 1945, at least 83,145 men, women and children, mostly Serbs, Roma, Jews, and Croats died at Jasenovac.


Ustasha militants execute prisoners near Jasenovac

Organized by the Coordination of Jewish Communities, this ceremony was the first of three announced commemorations this year. Prayers were held for all victims of the camp both Jewish and non-Jewish. In attendance was the President of the Coordinating Committee of Jewish Communities, Ognjen Kraus and also representatives of the Bet Israel Jewish Community and representatives of the Sarajevo Jewish Community.

Also present for the ceremony was President of the Serbian National Council Milorad Pupovac and Parliament member Mile Horvat, former Croatian President Ivo Josipović, and Zoran Pusić representing the Anti-Fascist League of Croatia, President of the Reformists Party Radimir Čačić, member of Parliament Furio Radin representing the Italian national minority and foreign diplomats including the Austrian Ambassador Andreas Wiedenhoff and Israeli Ambassador Zina Kalay Kleitman.


The Flower Monument at Jasenovac

An official commemoration for the victims of the Jasenovac, will be held on April 22 organized by the Jasenovac Memorial Area. The Coordination of Jewish Communities refused to participate and organized its separate commemoration. Their boycott came over a disagreement with government inaction dealing with changes to Jasenovac’s museum exhibition, as well as political events which downplay the crimes of Ustasha. Croatian nationalists view the Ustasha as the founding fathers of their country and glorify its fascist and anti-Semitic past. Also boycotting the official commemoration with the Coordination of Jewish Communities are the ethnic Serbian groups and the Union of Antifascist Fighters of Croatia who will organize their own separate event April 24.

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