Ognjen Kraus.jpg
Photograph: Hina/ Dario GRZELJ/ dag

The central commemoration of Yom HaShoah in Croatia was held at Zagreb's Mirogoj Cemetery on Thursday and on that occasion members of the Jewish community said that they would not allow anybody to belittle their feeling of respect for victims of the Holocaust and that therefore they had decided to organise a commemoration at the site of WW2 death camp in Jasenovac on their own this year.

Attempts to tailor the past with the approval of the ruling authorities and failure to penalise such events in the past year must worry every decent citizen of Croatia, said the chairman of the Coordinating Committee of Jewish Communities in Croatia, Ognjen Kraus.

Atrocities committed in the name of the Nazi Germany and quisling countries, including the so-called Independent State of Croatia, bear witness to the fact how mankind could sink low, while the human spirit could soar high, Kraus said adding that the Nazi system destroyed all structures of the Jewish society in an attempt to annihilate the Jewish spirit and culture.

He recalled that in 1941 when the war broke out in this area, there were 12,000 local Jews in Zagreb, accounting for 7% of the population, while currently this has been reduced to permilles.

In his speech Krause raised his voice against glorification of the Ustasha system and said that the local Jews would not tolerate attempts to promote Ustasha values.

During this commemorative event, dozens of delegations of Jewish associations, of the State of Israel as well as of Croatia's state bodies and local authorities and foreign embassies held wreath-laying ceremonies,

The Jewish community Bet Israel held a commemorative service in the northern town of Krapina to observe the Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Speakers at that commemorative event warned that local Jews were killed during the Ustasha regime only because that regime labelled them as a less worthy people.

The Bet Israel community's leader Aleksandar Sreckovic said that the present-day generations were not responsible for the persecution of Jews during the Second World War but that they were responsible for how they managed the memories concerning that period.

Croatian Environment Protection Minister Slaven Dorbrovic said at the commemoration in Krapina that memories of the Holocaust must not fall into oblivion.

Yom HaShoah or Holocaust Remembrance Day is observed as Israel's day of commemoration for the approximately six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust as a result of the actions carried out by Nazi Germany and its allies. In Israel, it is a national memorial day, which was inaugurated in 1953.

Latest news

Serbia's EU negotiator says minority rights neglected

The head of the Serbia's European Union accession negotiation team, Tanja Miscevic, said in Novi Sad on Wednesday that minority rights had been neglected for many years and added that positive results in that regard cannot be achieved over night, the Beta news agency has reported. 

Scientists: Nearby star's 7 rocky planets are "best bet" for life

New analysis of telescope data shows a dwarf star just 40 light years from Earth has at least seven apparently rocky planets with potential to harbour water, an international team of scientists announced Wednesday.

Croatian PM receives EIB Vice-President

Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic met on Wednesday with European Investment Bank (EIB) Vice-President Dario Scannapieco for talks on the bank's contribution to a new investment cycle in Croatia and its support to the Croatian government to implement key projects, a press release from the government's office said.

Bomb explodes outside police officer's home in Northern Ireland

A bomb exploded outside a police officer's home in Northern Ireland on Wednesday but there were no immediate reports of casualties.

Denmark to charge man with blasphemy over burning Koran

Danish prosecutors said Wednesday they have opened a rare blasphemy case against a man who videotaped himself burning a copy of the Koran.

South Africa to raise taxes for the wealthiest

South Africa will raise the income tax rate for the country's wealthiest to 45 per cent from 41 per cent, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced Wednesday.

Reformist Macron wins support of key centrist leader for French vote

France's reformist presidential hopeful, Emmanuel Macron, got a boost on Wednesday when he picked up the support of a party leader whose centrist constituency played a pivotal role in the last two presidential elections.

Amnesty International warns of nationalist rhetoric and hate speech in Croatia

Croatia continues to have problems with discrimination against ethnic minorities and with freedom of the media, while heightened nationalist rhetoric and hate speech during election time contributed to growing ethnic intolerance and insecurity in the country, global human rights watchdog Amnesty International said in its annual report on the state of human rights in the world in 2016/2017.

Official assigned to Wilders' security team held by Dutch police

A security official assigned to protect Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders is being held by police on suspicion of passing along classified information about the lawmaker to a Dutch-Moroccan crime gang.

100th anniversary of rescuing starving children marked

A special ceremony was held in Zagreb's Croatian National Theatre on Wednesday to mark the 100th anniversary of one of the greatest humanitarian undertakings in the history of the Croatian people which saved children in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina from famine in the last two years of World War I.

Italy's 'Red Thing' could make impact in election debut, polls show

Two polls conducted for RAI public broadcaster released Wednesday showed a new entity that split from Italy's ruling Democratic Party

Council: Nixing grants to "Novosti" would cause far-reaching implications

The Council for National Minorities, a state-level autonomous umbrella organisation for all ethnic minorities in Croatia, has stated that the cancellation of financial grants to the "Novosti", a newspaper of the ethnic Serb minority, would produce far-reaching implications and stir criticism for reduction of free speech and of freedom of expression of the most numerous ethnic minority.