Homage paid to the Jasenovac victims; Plenkovic: We came to condemn the horrors PHOTO

By laying flowers, homage was paid today to the victims of Jasenovac. A joint wreath was laid by President of Croatia, Croatian Parliament and Prime Minister.

Source: Tanjug
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Foto: Tanjug/AP/Darko Bandic
Foto: Tanjug/AP/Darko Bandic

By laying wreaths and flowers, the Croatian State Summit and representatives of Jews, Serbs, Roma and anti-fascists living in Croatia, today paid tribute to the victims of the Ustasha Jasenovac concentration camp in World War II.

The joint wreath at the "Stone Flower" was laid by the President of the Republic Zoran Milanovic, the Speaker of the Croatian Parliament Gordan Jandrokovic and the Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic.

The flowers were laid in memory of the victims by Ognjen Kraus from Jewish Community, the President of the Council of the Serbian National Council, Milorad Pupovac, MP of the Roma national minority, Veljko Kajtazi, and the President of the SABA RH Antifascist alliance, Franjo Habulin.

The official commemoration, aired directly by Zagreb's N1 television, due to the coronavirus epidemic involved only laying wreaths and flowers, with respect for social distance measures.

Kraus said he had come to Jasenovac ready for serious talks about the government's attitude to history.

"I also came here to solve all our problems in the interest of Croatia and to put all the mortgages that embarrass this country ad acta", Kraus said.

If that is not resolved, he said, they will certainly not be there next year.

"Now I reached out to start the talks. If nothing happens, we will definitely not be here next year. Some progress has been made," Kraus told reporters in Jasenovac.

Jandrokovic said that representatives of the state leadership came to show respect for the victims of the Ustasha camp and to condemn the character of the criminal Ustasha regime.

"We must never again allow evil in this region to happen as in the Second World War," Jandrokovic said, adding that it was necessary to have an understanding of one another.

Tanjug/AP Photo/Darko Bandic
Tanjug/AP Photo/Darko Bandic

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said today in Jasenovac, after jointly laying wreaths and flowers with representatives of minorities, that they gathered there to condemn the atrocities that took place in the region during World War II.

They came, he said, to once again express their reverence to the victims of the camp and recalled that he had been there with government officials for the fourth year.

"In this way, we are constantly showing our homage to the victims. This year was Auschwitz's grand anniversary and at that time, we very clearly condemned the Nazi crimes. Once again, it is important to reiterate the importance of making the younger generations aware of the greatest horrors that occurred during World War II, even here in Jasenovac", Plenkovic said.

Commenting on the statement by the Mayor of the Jewish Community Ognjen Kraus that next year, victims' representatives will not come again unless a dialogue with the government is initiated, Plenkovic says that the issue is continuous, but that much has been done in the mandate of this government.

"The policies we take and the statements we make are solid and clear," Plenkovic told reporters.

And when asked if the Ministry of Veterans Affairs allegedly finances associations that investigate the Jasenovac camp after the breakdown of the Ustasha regime, Plenkovic claims that his government "has no intention to deal with revisionism," and as far as project financing is concerned, he says, we should see this with the competent minister.

Milanovic: The place where the most terrible things happened

Croatian President Zoran Milanovic said he was glad that after a long time there were representatives of the authorities and representatives of the victims, because it was a place where the most terrible things happened during the Second World War.

He personally, as he said, was engaged in re-appearing in Jasenovac on the Day of Remembrance of Jasenovac victims of the representatives of the authorities, minorities, the Jewish municipality and anti-fascists.

Asked what he thinks about victims' representatives and anti-fascists continued criticism addresed to certain parts of the government for lack of dialogue on the issue of revisionism, Milanovic said he knew exactly what they meant, but that he was not the right person for that he had no influence on judiciary.

Commenting on the previously installed HOS memorial plaque, whose coat of arms reads the Ustasha cry "for a home ready", for which victims' representatives and anti-fascists have not participated in joint commemorations for the past four years, Milanovic says that the plaque should also be removed from Novska, where it was later relocated. "It should be removed, thrown away," Milanovic said, adding that it had nothing to do with the Homeland War.

Anyone who fought for Croatia under the slogan "home ready" in 1991 fought "not only for Croatia, but also for the restoration of NDH," Milanovic said.
"Anyone who thinks that he fought only for Croatia under the motto 'home ready' in the Homeland War should know that he fought for the NDH and that it was completely wrong," Milanovic specified.

He recalled that the Republic of Croatia was recognized in January 1992, when the series of recognitions began.

"We, too, have had the greatest number of state attributes in socialism. I hope that some of the constantly irritating topics that are present will wear off after the pandemic. And that we will look at the people who emphasize them with ridicule, not contempt," he said.

Regarding the commemoration for the victims of Bleiburg, which will be held at the Mirogoj cemetery this year because of the pandemic, Milanovic said: "I never went and I will not go. My position is known."

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