Representatives of the victims: “It is necessary to change the permanent exhibition of the Jasenovac Memorial Site Public Institution and to continue with the boycott”

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    Foto: Phralipen

    A meeting was held in Jasenovac Memorial Site Public Institution on 31 st January with the
    representatives of IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance).

    The meeting was attended by representatives of the Serbian, Jewish and Roma communities in the Republic of Croatia and representatives of the Federation of Anti-Fascist Fighters and Anti-Fascists. Members of the IHRA Expert Team were Bruno Boyer on behalf of The Shoah Holocaust Memorial from France, Thomas Lutz on behalf of The Topography of Terror – History Museum from Germany and Nevena Bajalica on behalf of the Anne Frank House from the Netherlands.

    The discussion was about the replacement of the permanent exhibition of the Jasenovac Memorial Museum, the issue of Holocaust education, and the issue of holding parallel commemorations over the past two years at the Jasenovac Memorial Site.

    On behalf of the Roma community, MP Veljko Kajtazi presented what has been done in relation to the Roma cemetery of Uštica and presented future activities in line with the Operational Program for Roma National Minority for the period 2017 – 2020 adopted by the Government of the Republic of Croatia. He especially noted that by marking 2 August the Roma did not separate themselves with their special commemoration, but "somebody else separated them seventy years ago". In this context, he presented the conceptual solution of the World War II Roma Genocide Memorial Museum in Uštica which should, in line with the above mentioned Government’s Operational Program, be completed by 2020.

    Representatives of the Jewish National Minority Sanja Zoričić Tabaković pointed out that the current exhibition does not show that it was a death camp but that the visitor gets the impression that it was a regular working camp. Ognjen Krauss blamed it all on the policy, ie
    the competent ministry that has not yet formed the Jasenovac Memorial Site Council which is an obligation deriving from the Act on Jasenovac Memorial Site.

    The Council should include one representative from the Croatian Parliament, Ministry of Culture, Jasenovac Municipality, one surviving camp detainee, one representative of the Federation of Anti-Fascist Fighters of Croatia, one representative of the Roma, Serbian and Jewish national minorities, and the director of the Jasenovac Memorial Site Public Institution.

    Representative of the Serbian National Council Aneta Lalić specifically pointed out deterioration and destruction of the objects within the Memorial Site away from the central part of the complex, insufficient financing of the public institution and the need to resolve current issues of marking the suffering in World War II everywhere in the Republic of Croatia.

    President of the Federation of Anti-Fascist Fighters, Franjo Habulin, also stressed the dissatisfaction with the permanent exhibition and the need for more pupils to visit the Site as part of a regular curriculum in cooperation with the Ministry of Science and Education.

    Due to the fact that the Jasenovac Memorial Site Council has so far not been established, that all those who should be its members expressed their dissatisfaction with the permanent exhibition, but also due to other issues as well, it can be concluded that several separate commemorations will be organized in 2018 again and that the representatives of the victims will not be present at the commemoration organized by the Government of the Republic of Croatia.

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