European Jewish Congress
Croatian Jews to boycott concentration camp commemoration
Committee of Jewish Communities of Croatia, the country’s umbrella Jewish
organisation and EJC affiliate, will not take part in the annual state-backed
commemoration in April at the site of the former Croatian fascist concentration
camp in Jasenovac.
Last year, the
group also boycotted the state commemoration – along with the bulk of the Serbian
minority and anti-fascist associations – due to the government’s alleged
leniency towards those sympathetic to the WWII Croatian fascist Ustasa regime,
which ran the camp.
“We won’t take part
in the national commemoration again; we have made such a decision. Not only has
nothing changed in relation to the situation as it was a year ago, but things
continue to escalate,” the committee’s president Ognjen Kraus, told Novi
National Council, which represents the bulk of Croatia’s Serbs, has yet to
decide whether to boycott this year’s commemoration.
Alliance of Anti-Fascist Fighters and Anti-Fascists and various Roma associations
have also yet to voice their position on this year’s commemoration.
Acting upon racial
laws against Serbs, Jews and Roma – modelled upon Nazi legislation – the Ustasa
killed over 83,000 Serbs, Jews, Roma and anti-fascists at Jasenovac between
1941 and 1945.
He said that the
group would organise its own commemoration at Jasenovac instead, like it did