miro kovač.jpg

The Croatian people is strongly against any racial or religious intolerance and the incumbent government will do everything so that remembering the Holocaust is not forgotten, Foreign Minister Miro Kovac said on Friday at a symposium on the Holocaust.

He said the Croatian people had gone through many horrific experiences and that the government "will do all we can for the young generations in Croatia to be aware of that human, civilisational and moral disaster and tragedy."

The symposium on the Holocaust and the genocide against the Roma was held at the Hungarian Institute in Zagreb and was organised by the Institute and the Hungarian Embassy. It was held on the occasion of Hungary's chairmanship over the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) from 8 March 2015 to 8 March 2016.

"Extremism, fanaticism, hatred, intolerance, anti-Semitism and ignorance can and did lead to a moral decline of our societies and our Western civilisation," Kovac said, adding that one must listen to and learn from those who survived the Holocaust.

Croatia is a member of IHRA, which was established in 1998 on the initiative of Swedish Prime Minister Goeran Persson, who decided to establish an international organisation which would spread education about the Holocaust around the world. IHRA has 31 member states, ten observers and seven international organisations. Its basis is the Stockholm Declaration adopted in 2000.

The symposium was opened by the Hungarian state secretary on European affairs, Szabolcs Takacs, who recalled the foundations of the Stockholm Declaration - encouraging education on the Holocaust, remembering the Holocaust and researching it in IHRA's member and other countries.

The Declaration says the Holocaust changed the foundations of society, that its dimensions, conceived and implemented by the Nazis, must always be remembered, and that the international community had the task to fight genocide, ethnic cleansing, racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia.

"In this century, we still have the moral and historical task to remember and pass on the remembrance of the Holocaust," Kovac said, adding that aside from the Jews, one must also remember the suffering of the Roma.

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