(June 27, 2019 / JNS) Rabbi Kotel Dadon, leader of Bet Israel Jewish community of Croatia, has alarm regarding the decision of the city assembly of Zagreb to dedicate a memorial to 6 million victims of the Holocaust without even mentioning the role played by Croatia’s Ustaše nationalists in massacring the country’s Jews.
The Euro-Asian Jewish Congress (EAJC) supports the demand of Croatia’s Jewish community to break the silence surrounding the appalling crimes of the fascist Ustaša regime against humanity.
“Unfortunately, we are witnessing today attempts by the Croatian government to rewrite history and clear the Ustaša regime of any responsibility for its collaboration in the mass killings of the Jews, Gypsies and ethnic Serbs,” said EAJC president Mikhail Mirilashvili. “We strongly condemn this kind of distorted view of history.”
EAJC CEO Haim Ben Yaakov said, “We believe the creation of the memorial should be based on the principle of honoring the historical truth and the memory of the fallen during World War II. We must not cover up crimes against humanity committed by other murderous regimes and put all the blame on Nazi Germany alone. We urge the government to consider the position of Croatia’s Jewish community, which has expressed its utter frustration with the official policy.”
An ally of Nazi Germany, the fascist Independent State of Croatia existed from 1941 until 1945 under the leadership of a Croatian fascist organization Ustaša, which already in 1941 founded a network of death camps known as Jasenovac.
A 1942 Gestapo report and other historical documents detail the purges, deportations and mass killings of the Jews by the Ustaše, accusing local authorities of senseless brutality.
Experts estimate that three-fourths of Croatian Jews who perished during the years of World War II and the Holocaust were executed at the hands of Croatia’s fascist regime.