The director of the documentary "Jasenovac - The Truth", Jakov Sedlar, has responded to Israeli Ambassador Zina Kalay Kleitman's accusations that he attempted to revise history, underscoring that his latest film does not want to revise history, except the segment that has perpetrated lies that nearly became truth due to their perpetration and inclusion in school curricula (during the Tito-led Yugoslavia) and in anti-Croat propaganda during the Yugoslav era.
The Israeli Ambassador in Zagreb stated on Thursday, after she attending the premiere of the documentary, that the film depicted history very selectively in an attempt to revise many historical facts and that it insulted the feelings of the people who lost their dearest at the Jasenovac WWII concentration camp.
Sedlar writes in his response, issued on Friday, that he is glad that the Israeli Ambassador attended the premiere of his documentary and that she was welcomed "with a big, sincere applause from the audience".
"Please, rest assured that the applause, directed at you, was also directed at the country you represent, a country which Croatia and the Croatians perceive as a friend," he wrote.
Sedlar interpreted the applause also as an act of respect for the heritage the Jewish people has left to the Croatians.
He agrees with the diplomat's assessment that his documentary was also his personal perception of that part of the past (WW2), explaining that in his opinion every director has the right and the obligation to treat any topic in their personal way, but based on facts.
As for the ambassador's statement that she was shocked to see that a big part of the documentary is dedicated to the history of the pro-Nazi Ustasha regime's coming to power in Croatia, Sedlar writes that the reason was to provide the audience with the historical context in a bid to expose "the lies that flooded the Croatian and global public for decades during the Tito-led totalitarian dictatorship."
"I have only presented the painful facts that have pushed many Croats into despair and death during the Serb terror that lasted in Croatia since 1918."
Sedlar disagrees with the ambassador's interpretation that this is an act of politicisation of painful acts.
He notes that he has taken an unequivocal position on "everything that was perpetrated by the Ustasha regime during the tragic four years in Jasenovac", and underscores that he clearly pointed out who were the perpetrators and who were the victims and that he cited authentic witnesses.
Sedlar insists that this documentary does not deny the Ustasha atrocities committed in Jasenovac.
However, the documentary also speaks about victims of the Tito-led Communist regime in Jasenovac from 1945 to 1951 and "this is my wish to contribute to a thorough research of the whole truth about that concentration camp," Sedlar writes in his response.
He underscores that during the dictatorship of Yugoslav Communist leader Josip Broz Tito, "hundreds of thousands of Croatians" were executed. There is material evidence that can corroborate this statement, Sedlar says, calling on the protagonists from that period to say the truth. "Unfortunately, only few of them have admitted it in rare moments of sincerity," the director says in his response.
Thursday, April 7, 2016 - 13:44