Serb leader in Croatia receives email with fascist greeting

Croatian Assembly member and leader of the Serb National Council Milorad Pupovac says he received as email with the Ustasha greeting "za dom spremni."

Source: B92, Tanjug
(Getty Images, file, illustration purposes)
(Getty Images, file, illustration purposes)

The greeting, which translates to, "for home ready" and is abbreviated to "ZDS", was used by the fascist Ustasha regime of the WW2-era Independent State of Croatia (NDH) - a Nazi allied entity that operated death camps for Serbs, Jews, and Roma, including Jasenovac.

"Yesterday at 02:05, I received an email where somebody named Mladen Kostic greets with ZDS, and states that it is an ancient Croatian greeting," Pupovac wrote on Facebook.

"It's not the first time, either by email, Facebook, in a letter, or in the streets. It's probably not the first time (it happened) on Remembrance Day for Jasenovac Victims, and I'm not sure if it's the first time that it's been cc'd to the president, the prime minister, and the president of the Assembly. It's the first time that I replied and published it," he added.

Pupovac said he did this in order to show "to what degree we've become accustomed to it being normal to glorify a movement and a regime responsible for genocide/Holocaust, at the time and in the place where its victims are commemorated."

He was referring to the incident on Saturday ahead of the official Croatian state ceremony at the site of the former death camp in Jasenovac, when former members of the HOS (Croatian Council of Defense) - an armed Croatian formation from the 1990s wars - unfurled the HOS banner, with the Ustasha greeting printed on it.

"Despite the decision of the (Croatian) Constitutional Court and the provision of the Criminal Code according to which that is a punishable act," Pupovac wrote. "Condemnation of the crimes committed in Jasenovac is not complete without condemning that greeting wherever it may occur."

"Members of the victim nations and anti-Fascists can hardly understand as they should the showing of respect for the victims of Jasenovac without condemnation of everything that glorifies the criminal HDH and the Ustasha movement," he said.

Relations between Croatia and Serbia additionally soured over the weekend when Zagreb decided to ban Serbian Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin from entering that country, "until further notice."

Croatian Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic said on Sunday that Vulin "would have been refused from entry" had he shown up at the border - presumably in order to attend the Jasenovac commemoration.

Bozinovic also told Croatia's state broadcaster HTV that Vulin was "among those politicians who are constantly making statements that don't contribute to solving good neighborly relations and open issues."


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