Croatian Jews boycott official Shoah memorial

Jasenovac; fot. PetarM, CC BY 3.0 rs

The Jewish community of Croatia will not participate in the country’s official Holocaust commemoration in protest against the Croatian government’s inaction against growing neo-Nazi activity in the country.

The Coordinating Committee of the Jewish Communities of Croatia will instead hold its own remembrance at the site of the former Nazi German death camp Jasenovac later this week. The government will hold a commemoration next week.

Jewish officials are accusing Croatia’s new right-wing government of ignoring open public resurgence of anti-Semitism, including pro-Nazi slogans chanted by Croatian fans during a soccer match between Croatia and Israel last month.

Tens of thousands of Jews, Serbs and Gypsies died in death camps run by the Nazi puppet state of Croatia during World War II. It is estimated that 30,000 Jews were murdered during the existence of the so-called Independent State of Croatia, most of them in the Jasenovac camp.

Croatian President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic said Croatia should unite “over the fundamental values of the society, in this case over the commemoration of the death of the innocent Jasenovac victims.