Jasenovac must not be forgotten, Croat president says

JASENOVAC -- The truth about the Jasenovac concentration camp must never be diminished or hushed up, Croat President Ivo Josipović stated on Sunday.

Commemoration in Jasenovac (Beta)
Commemoration in Jasenovac (Beta)

The death camp was operated during WW2 by the Independent State of Croatia (NDH) pro-Nazi Ustasha regime, and saw imprisonment and executions of Serbs, Jews and Roma, as well as of the regime's ideological enemies.

Josipović today warned that there were attempts to drastically reduce or increase the number of Jasenovac victims.

A large number of people, including diplomatic corps members and high Croatian officials attended the commemoration to the Jasenovac camp inmates, who tried to break trough the camp’s fences 66 years ago.

“We can now approach the investigation into everything that happened completely objectively, but we have to keep in mind that this was the most terrible place of suffering and a scene of personal, family and national tragedies,” the Croatian president pointed out.

“Jasenovac proves that evil born from hatred does not win,” said Croatian assembly Speaker Luka Bebić.

“Faced with devastating truth here that certain members of the Croatian people were capable of committing the cruelest crimes, I want to say that all of us are responsible for the things we do,” he added.

About 600 remaining prisoners tried to escape from the concentration camp on April 22, 1945. Only about one hundred of them survived.

“There is no excuse for the crime and therefore the Croatian government decisively rejects and condemns every attempt of historical revisionism and rehabilitation of fascist ideology, every form of totalitarianism, extremism and radicalism,” Croatian Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor stressed.

“Pavelić’s regime was a regime of evil, hatred and intolerance, in which people were abused and killed because of their race, religion, nationality, political beliefs, because they were the others and different,” she said.