Minister honors Croatian WW2 death camp victims
Aleksandar Vulin represented the Serbian government on Sunday at a commemoration held at the grounds of the WW2-era death camp Jadovno in Croatia.Source: Tanjug
Vulin, who is in charge of labor, employment, veteran care and social issues, was at the site where some 40,000 prisoners were killed in 1941, most of them Serbs, but also Jews and Roma.
He underscored that "crimes must not be forgotten, which is why they are still mentioned to this day."
"Serbia respects Croatia as its neighbor even when the two countries' views of certain parts of history differ," Vulin said, and added:
"Nevertheless, when it comes to Jadovno, Jasenovac and Gradiška camps, both Serbia and Croatia, as well as any other country in the world, share the same opinion because it is impossible to think otherwise at the spot where people were killed and humanity was executed."
Serbian Orthodox Bishop Jovan Ćulibrk of Lipljan held a memorial service prior to the commemoration at the monument in Šaranova Jama pit, where the bodies of 73 Serb priests and other victims were disposed of in 1941.
President of the Serb National Council in Croatia Milorad Pupovac paid tribute to the victims, as did presidents of the Association of Antifascist Veterans and Antifascists of Croatia, the Coordination of Jewish Communities of Croatia, and envoys of the president of Croatia and its government.
Pupovac addressed the gathering to say that "Jadovno is more terrible than anything, even more terrible than Jasenovac, and words ought to be unneeded here."
But he added that the death camp "should be talked about because of those who wish to destroy the memory of the victims, brought in from all parts of the NDH."
"The is denial of the victims, and there are no schoolbooks nor people who would tell the truth," Pupovac warned. This member of the Croatian parliament added that Jadovno should be marked as a memorial area in all its locations, including on Mt. Velebit and on the Adriatic island of Pag.
The complex of the Gospić-Jadovno-Pag camp, commonly referred to as Jadovno, was set up on April 21, 1941 and operated by the WW2 pro-Nazi entity the Independent State of Croatia (NDH).
It was closed between August 15 and 20, 1941, at the request of the Italian army.
Jadovno was situated in the area of Mt. Velebit. Based archived documents, it has been established that 32 karst pits in the area were used for execution of Serbs and Jews. Among these, the most thoroughly searched include Šaranova, Jamina, and Sveta Ana pits.
Commemorations have been held at Jadovno since 2009, and June 24 has been declared the Jadovno 1941 Remembrance Day, at a proposal of the Jadovno 1941 Association.