Croatia’s Disrespect for Jasenovac Victims Has a Long Tradition

Hits: 111

For the fourth year in a row, representatives of Croatia’s Jewish and Serbian communities, as well as anti-fascists, will boycott the official commemoration of the victims of the World War II concentration camp at Jasenovac on April 14.

But why did the boycotts start in 2016 – why exactly that year? Did it maybe coincide with the Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ, taking power in Croatia?

Is it maybe because the HDZ government, when it came to power, appointed a culture minister called Zlatko Hasanbegovic who once wrote that the Ustasa were martyrs? Or because Hasanbegovic never came clean about what he said (until weekly news magazine Novosti reported on it)? Or because he never apologised?

Was it maybe the fact that the government tolerated the presence of a plaque with the Ustasa chant ‘Za dom spremni’ (‘Ready for the Home(land)’) engraved on it, within walking distance of the former concentration camp, for nine months? Or because the government had to beg an open admirer of the Ustasa, Marko Skejo, leader of the 1990s veterans of the Croatian Defence Forces, the HOS, to allow the authorities to remove the plaque?

Could one of the reasons for the boycott be that government hid behind an expert council which confirmed that the ‘Za dom spremni’ slogan can be used in commemorations of fallen HOS soldiers? Or is it maybe the funeral for Ustasa soldiers with full military honours near Plitvice lakes in September 2018?

Undoubtedly one of the reasons for the continuing boycott could be the fact that the government gave 6,700 euros to the Society for Research of the Threefold Jasenovac Camp, an NGO that distorts the facts about Jasenovac, claiming, without academic basis, that up to 50 times fewer people died there than the Jasenovac Memorial Site has established.

But it could also be because 2,700 euros was given to the Association of Police Veterans from the 1990s war – who have somehow become WWII experts as well – to unscientifically claim that an Ustasa detention camp for children in the town of Jastrebarsko wasn’t a camp at all.

One of the more recent triggers for keeping up the boycott could be the fact that Andrej Rora, the head of HDZ’s media and communications office, wrote for the same pro-Ustasa bulletin as Hasanbegovic, declaring in 1996 that the struggle for the Ustasa-led Independent State of Croatia, NDH, will continue.

The crocodile tears of Croatian President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic, a former HDZ member, have also started flowing a few years too late.

Grabar Kitarovic now claims that she would attend the official Jasenovac commemoration if there were no divisions. But what prevented her from attending it in 2015, when she avoided the official commemoration but arrived at the site for a publicly-unannounced personal visit, then publicly posted photos and a message about it?

Certainly, descendants of Jasenovac victims didn’t like the fact that she first said that ‘Za dom spremni’ was “an old Croatian salute” before admitting it was a fascist chant.

This is the problem that the HDZ has been facing from the beginning – trying to have its cake and eat it too. The party has been trying to claim that it is anti-fascist – especially in dealings with Israel – while simultaneously trying to rehabilitate the Ustasa.

This is precisely what the founder and Croatian President Franjo Tudjman had in mind back in the 1980s, when he started to promote his controversial version of ‘national reconciliation’ between the Ustasa and the Communist Partisans.

On the one hand, Tudjman claimed – citing problematic sources – that Jews ran the camp, and that Jasenovac continued to operate after WWII, under Communist rule, for which there is no valid historical proof.

While trying to combat Serbian nationalist propaganda that inflated Jasenovac’s death toll, he lowered it to 40,000. To achieve his ‘reconciliation’, he proposed burying the remains of both Ustasa and camp victims at Jasenovac, only to back down under heavy international pressure.

On the other hand, Tudjman accused the Croatian Defence Forces of Ustasa sympathies and wrote anti-fascism into the constitution.

The HDZ is going in Tudjman’s direction, no matter how much it denies this reality. What’s worse, it’s not only the HDZ’s attitude that the Jasenovac victims’ descendants should be angry about.

Former Croatian President Stjepan Mesic, who is now honorary president of the League of Anti-fascist Fighters and Anti-Fascists of Croatia, is widely known for downplaying the Jasenovac crimes while he was casually eating and drinking with HDZ members in Novska in 1992. This wasn’t the only time that Mesic made unacceptable comments about the Ustasa, but it was also problematic that he never came clean about the Novska incident before videos popped up in the media.

Meanwhile in 2001, Tonino Picula, who at the time was the Croatian foreign minister from the then-ruling Social Democratic Party, SDP, ventured into dubious territory when he wanted to make the point that Croatia and Serbia shouldn’t dig up the past too much.

Picula said that Croatia could ask “what preceded Jasenovac”, probably trying to suggest that the pre-war Kingdom of Yugoslavia’s repression was responsible for the WWII killings of Serbs – a common trope among the far-right. Just a few months before, while visiting the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem, he didn’t make a similar analogy about Jewish victims.

Then in 2016, when SDP president Zoran Milanovic was talking with 1990s war veterans, he said that he personally didn’t care about the ‘Za dom spremni’ chant.

It was also an SDP politician, State Administration Minister Arsen Bauk, who allowed the obscure Society for Research of the Threefold Jasenovac Camp to be registered as an NGO. Bauk and the 2000-2003 SDP government was further responsible for not pressuring HOS veterans’ associations to remove the words ‘Za dom spremni’ from their coat of arms.

The point is that the majority of politicians honestly don’t care – even when they point out Ustasa crimes. Jasenovac is seen as the place where the ethnic ‘Other’ were killed, not ‘Us’, the Croats.

Although a massive proportion of the Serbs, Roma and Jews who were killed at the camp were living in territories that are now part of Croatia, they are still symbolically seen as ‘guests’.

Even when Jasenovac is commemorated by officials, it’s done out of obligation; a concession to ‘them’. This is something that is done to score political points, both domestically and internationally.

Until Jasenovac is commemorated sincerely and in good faith, without tricks or excuses, no one, not least the government and the political elite, should complain that there are multiple commemorations of the victims every year.


Originally published on 2019-04-11

About the author: Sven Milekic is a Ph.D. candidate at Maynooth University, funded by the Irish Research Council under the Government of Ireland Postgraduate Programme.

Source: Balkan Transitional Justice

Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection & Pinterest.

Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!

Donate to Support Us

We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.

 
READ MORE!
The Saudi Butchery in Yemen and the World’s Apathy
The cold-blooded killing of the journalist Khashoggi, however gruesome, pales compared to the brutality and gross human rights violations Saudi Arabia is committing in Yemen. The Saudis are deliberately preventing food and medicine from reaching areas where children are dying from starvation or disease. Their indiscriminate bombings are killing thousands of innocent men, women, and children, leaving whole communities in ruin. The saddest part of this unfolding tragedy is that the US and other Western powers are supplying the Saudis with the weapons they need to massacre the Yemenites, who are trapped in this proxy war between Saudi Arabia and ...
READ MORE
Marti Ahtisaari and the Waffen SS
In 1999, when he was the President of Finland, Marti Ahtisaari’s government wanted to honor and to commemorate the 3,000 Finnish Nazi Waffen SS volunteers that served in Heinrich Himmler’s SS. Why would any government, indeed, why would anyone, want to honor and commemorate SS troops? Why would anyone want to honor and commemorate Nazis and Nazism? This is the question that has remained unanswered in the US and Western media about Marti Ahtisaari. As a sock puppet for the US, NATO, and EU, Ahtisaari’s role in honoring and commemorating the Nazi Waffen SS has been suppressed. As a Chairman ...
READ MORE
The Unspoken Crimes of World War II: The Dresden Massacre of 1945
It is 70-years anniversary of the end of the WWII – the bloodiest and most horrible war ever fought in the human history. The war that caused creation of the UN in 1945 in order to protect the world from similar events in the future – a pan-global political-security organization of which first issued legal act was the UN Charter, which inspired the 1948 Geneva Conventions’ definition of genocide. The Nüremberg and Tokyo Trials were organized as “The Last Battles” for justice as the first ever global trials for the war criminals and mass murderers including and the top-hierarchy statesmen and ...
READ MORE
Luring Trump into Mideast Wars
Donald Trump entered military terra incognita on Thursday by launching an illegal Tomahawk missile strike on an air base in eastern Syria. Beyond the clear violation of international law, the practical results are likely to be disastrous, drawing the U.S. deeper into the Syrian quagmire. But it would be a mistake to focus all the criticism on Trump. Not only are Democrats also at fault, but a good argument could be made that they bear even greater responsibility. For years, near-total unanimity has reigned on Capitol Hill concerning America’s latest villains du jour, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. Congressmen, senators, ...
READ MORE
‘Croatian Scenario’ Shortcomings for Ending the Donbass Conflict
The so called "Croatian scenario", is something that has been periodically brought up after the start of the armed conflict in Donbass. (Among other instances, yours truly noted this in articles from this past December 17 and August 24, 2015.) Promoted at Johnson's Russia List, the December 28 Euromaidan Press article "What Ukraine Can Take from the 'Croatian Scenario' of Conflict Resolution", omits some key factors for being apprehensive about the probability for success of an Operation Storm like strike against the Donbass rebels. In 1995, the Serb Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic, had essentially dropped the Krajina Serbs, with the hope that he could improve his relationship with the West. At ...
READ MORE
Kosovo’s Ethnography
PrefaceKosovo (Serb. Kosovo-Metochia, Alb. Kosova) is a square-shaped province of the Republic of Serbia of 10,877 sq. kilometres that is approximately the size of the USA state of Connecticut. The province is situated in the southern interior of the Balkan Peninsula in South-East Europe.[1] For most of the 20th century-history, this province was part of Serbia like in the Middle Ages but from 1455 to 1912 it was occupied by the Ottoman Empire. After the 1998‒1999 Kosovo War the province is an autonomous territory under the formal administration of the UNO but, in fact, USA’s colony. Officially, the province has ...
READ MORE
George Soros’s False Flag Factories
Global hedge fund tycoon and political provocateur George Soros is leading a war of symbols, namely flags and banners either resurrected or conjured up by his myriad non-profit groups, to stir religious, racial, and ethnic tensions the world over. From the Serbian OTPOR! movement and its clenched-fist symbol adopted by protests groups around the world to the menacing black and white flag of the Islamic State, which first appeared during the Soros-backed «Arab Spring» rebellions, Soros’s «false flag» factories have been running at break-neck production speeds. Soros and his acolytes saw the importance of symbology in the writings of Gene Sharp ...
READ MORE
Loss of land in Palestine under Israeli occupation
To mark so-called ‘Independence Day’, Palestinian citizens forced to study the book that paints them as inferior to Jews Ramallah: An Israeli civics textbook under the theme of ‘Being a Citizen in Israel’, launched to mark the regime’s commemoration of the 68th anniversary of its establishment, has been slammed for its negative and dismissive attitude towards the native Palestinian citizens. After the Israeli Education Ministry officially launched the textbook as part of the curriculum taught in Israeli schools, including those attended by Palestinian citizens, Palestinians reacted by condemning the move. Israel on Thursday marks the 68th anniversary of its 1948 founding in Palestine, ...
READ MORE
The Role of the Catholic Church in Yugoslavia’s Holocaust
On April 6th 1941, Nazi Germany invaded Yugoslavia. By April 10th, Croatian fascists led by Ante Pavelic were allowed by Hitler and his ally Mussolini to set up an “independent” puppet state of Croatia. Hitler granted “Aryan” status to Croatia as his fascist allies carved up Yugoslavia. Pavelic had been awaiting these developments whilst under the auspices of Mussolini in Italy who had granted them the use of remote training camps on a Aeolian island and access to a propaganda station Radio Bari for broadcasts across the Adriatic. As soon as the new fascist state of Croatia was born, a ...
READ MORE
The Collapsing of Yugoslavia (1981‒1990)
Tito’s policy in the 1970s of the so-called “encourage and suppress” for the sake to struggle against politically undesirable and threatening ethnic nationalisms especially the Croat and the Serb ones appeared to be incoherent one. In another words, while some ethnic nationalisms and their ideologies were considered to be dangerous to the system and, therefore, were suppressed and their advocates were jailed or banned from employment[i] (the case, for instance, of the Serbian dissident professors from Belgrade University), other nationalisms, supposed to be non-dangerous for the regime were encouraged by the local Communist elites (for instance, the Albanian nationalism in ...
READ MORE
The USA Bombing List: The Democracy World Tour
Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection & Pinterest.Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.
READ MORE
Fighting against the U.S. Corrupted Administration: Chronology of Events in the Case of Ronald Thomas West
Fighting against the U.S. Corrupted Administration: Chronology of Events in the Case of Ronald Thomas WestRepublished by permission by the author.Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection & Pinterest.Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.
READ MORE
Behind the Project of a Greater Albania
When at the 1878 Berlin Congress Serbia and Montenegro had to become recognized as sovereign states, the Muslim Albanian representatives tried to initiate the same for their own national state or wider autonomy within the Ottoman Empire which they considered as their own national state.They founded the (First) Prizren League in Metochia (the western portion of contemporary Kosovo).[1] However, this Islamic initiative failed with Bismarck’s explicit rejection to speak about Albanian nationality as nonexistent at all in Europe at that time as they have been considered as the Turks. At the same time, the Albanian national movement Rilindja was initiated, ...
READ MORE
Blatant Violation, by U.S. & its Allies against the U.N. Charter
America’s and its allies’ violation of the U.N. Charter, in regards to their recent actions to force a regime-change upon the sovereign nation of Venezuela, are baldly, and with unambiguous clarity, in violation of one of the seven founding “Principles” that are stated in the U.N. Charter.These violations are so severe as to demonstrate that the U.S. Government is an international rogue-regime — a blatant and unapologetic and repeated violator of the U.N. Charter, and of other major sources of international law.The U.N. Charter contains 19 “Chapters” or main divisions, and 111 “Articles” which include each subdivision within each “Chapter.” ...
READ MORE
American Pravda: How the CIA Invented “Conspiracy Theories”
A year or two ago, I saw the much-touted science fiction film Interstellar, and although the plot wasn’t any good, one early scene was quite amusing. For various reasons, the American government of the future claimed that our Moon Landings of the late 1960s had been faked, a trick aimed at winning the Cold War by bankrupting Russia into fruitless space efforts of its own. This inversion of historical reality was accepted as true by nearly everyone, and those few people who claimed that Neil Armstrong had indeed set foot on the Moon were universally ridiculed as “crazy conspiracy theorists.” ...
READ MORE
The Bosnian Serb “Death Camp” Fabrication
Serbian emergency shelters for Bosnian refugees sold to the public as a concentration camp to win public support for international intervention.  In August 1992, millions of people were shocked to see photographs of a supposed Bosnian Serb death camp. But the death camp story was a lie. The ITN crew had filmed from inside a fenced-in storage area. By shooting through the fence ITN created footage that gave the impression that the Bosnian men were imprisoned. With a little editing, this footage was turned into pictures that gave the impression of a death camp – media manipulation. The death camps were in ...
READ MORE
The Balkans: Endurance, Endeavour and the Resistance to Foreign Oppression
I travel frequently to the countries which once made up the now defunct Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, satisfying a passion of mine that stems back to my childhood days. For me, the Balkans’ history, its people and its cultures are both enigmatic and magnetic, as they have been, too, for countless others, of many nationalities, over centuries gone by.  Accounting for the enchantment of the Balkans, its captivating allure, is a challenge to put into writing. Because no words can truly embellish what is one of the most absorbing parts of the world. To understand and feel what it is ...
READ MORE
The U.S. War Crimes against North Korea: Sinchon Massacre by the U.S. Military Exposed
SINCHON COUNTY, North Korea–Over the past few years the Korean people have been able to expose the truth about a number of atrocities by Washington’s military forces during the 1950–53 Korean War. Many others, however, remain covered up and receive virtually no mention outside the Korean peninsula. One such massacre took place in Sinchon, a city located in what is today North Korea.During the Socialist Workers Party and Young Socialists leadership delegation’s visit to the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK), we toured the Sinchon Museum, which documents what north Koreans consider the worst atrocity to have taken place in ...
READ MORE
The Two Most Dangerous Warmongers in Political Office Today
They work in concert to carefully lay the foundations and propaganda for war, for between them they hope to dominate the world with their egocentric madness for power and influence. One is a former real estate developer and the other an expansionist occupier of foreign land. Both have access to nuclear and chemical/biological weapons of mass destruction.  They use the most powerful economic and political sanctions available in today’s US-dominated world to aggressively cripple those nation states they wish to either command or destroy and will unilaterally threaten and intimidate all those who oppose them, with financial, economic and military sanctions. They ...
READ MORE
Lithuanian Judge Postpones Trial over Reputation of Deceased Nazi Collaborator
(JTA) — A Lithuanian judge postponed a precedent-setting trial in which a U.S. citizen is demanding that a state museum end its glorification of a deceased Nazi collaborator.Jonas Noreika - "General Storm"The case is thought to be the first in which civil servants intend to publicly defend in court the actions and good name of an alleged collaborator. Lawyers representing the museum said they needed more time to review materials relevant to the case, which involves the late Jonas Noreika. The postponement was announced Tuesday in Vilnius.The state-funded museum, known as the Center for the Study of the Genocide and Resistance of the ...
READ MORE
The Saudi Butchery in Yemen and the World’s Apathy
Marti Ahtisaari and the Waffen SS
The Unspoken Crimes of World War II: The Dresden Massacre of 1945
Luring Trump into Mideast Wars
‘Croatian Scenario’ Shortcomings for Ending the Donbass Conflict
Kosovo’s Ethnography
George Soros’s False Flag Factories
New Israeli School Textbook Highlights Jewish Supremacy: Paints Palestinians as “Inferior”
The Role of the Catholic Church in Yugoslavia’s Holocaust
The Collapsing of Yugoslavia (1981‒1990)
The USA Bombing List: The Democracy World Tour
Fighting against the U.S. Corrupted Administration: Chronology of Events in the Case of Ronald Thomas West
Behind the Project of a Greater Albania
Blatant Violation, by U.S. & its Allies against the U.N. Charter
American Pravda: How the CIA Invented “Conspiracy Theories”
The Bosnian Serb “Death Camp” Fabrication
The Balkans: Endurance, Endeavour and the Resistance to Foreign Oppression
The U.S. War Crimes against North Korea: Sinchon Massacre by the U.S. Military Exposed
The Two Most Dangerous Warmongers in Political Office Today
Lithuanian Judge Postpones Trial over Reputation of Deceased Nazi Collaborator
Global-Politics.eu

Written by Global-Politics.eu

SHORT LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The website’s owner & editor-in-chief has no official position on any issue published at this website. The views of the authors presented at this website do not necessarily coincide with the opinion of the owner & editor-in-chief of the website. The contents of all material (articles, books, photos, videos…) are of sole responsibility of the authors. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the contents of all material found on this website. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not responsible for the content of external internet sites. No advertising, government or corporate funding for the functioning of this website. The owner & editor-in-chief and authors are not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the text and material found on the website www.global-politics.eu

Website: http://www.global-politics.eu