Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic on Friday visited Tezno in Slovenia and Bleiburg in Austria where he lit candles in memory of Croatian soldiers and civilians killed there at the end of the Second World War.
On that occasion he issued the following message:
"Throughout their history, the Croatian people have suffered many injustices and grave tragedies. One of the greatest tragedies occurred during the Second World War and in its aftermath. The Bleiburg field and death marches symbolise the tragedy of the Croatian people that occurred at the dawn of the victory over fascism and Nazism. The totalitarian communist regime then committed acts of violence on a mass scale, violating basic human rights, including the most valuable human right - the right to life.
"Every victim deserves respect. Every victim has a name and a family grieving after them. It is tragic that even 70 years after the Second World War the resting place of most of the victims is still unknown.
"When today, as a proud member of the European Union, Croatia builds and develops a democratic society that respects the dignity of every human being, we must be united in the condemnation of every crime. Today we cannot change the tragic events from our past, but have a duty to draw a lesson from them and do everything we can so they are not repeated.
"I appeal to everyone who will come here tomorrow to pay their tribute to do so with dignity and respect because the reason to commemorate this tragedy is only and exclusively to pay respect to the victims."