President of the Republic Pays Tribute to Jasenovac Victims

22. April 2020.

On the 75th anniversary of the prisoner breakout from the Jasenovac Concentration Camp that was run by the Ustasha regime, the President of the Republic Zoran Milanović paid tribute to the victims at the Stone Flower monument by laying a joint wreath in their honor together with the Speaker of the Croatian Parliament Gordan Jandroković, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, Head of the Alliance of Anti-Fascist Fighters and Anti-Fascists of Croatia Franjo Habulin, President of the Jewish Community of Zagreb Professor Dr. Ognjen Kraus and Members of Parliament, Professor Dr. Milorad Pupovac and Veljko Kajtazi.

After the wreath-laying, President Milanović took questions from reporters who asked him to comment on the fact that the entire state leadership and victims’ representatives jointly paid tribute to the victims. “It’s hard to be glad about something in a place like this because the location itself is extremely somber and painful. I will say I am glad that we came together here after a long time – three members of the executive-legislative branch and victims’ representatives. That’s a positive thing. And it is also good that too much talking was finally avoided at the commemoration,” said President Milanović, adding that he personally lobbied for the joint participation.

Commenting on the Croatian Defense Forces (HOS) plaque that was relocated from Jasenovac to the nearby town of Novska, the President asserted: “It should be removed, disposed of somewhere. It has nothing to do with the Homeland War. Anyone who thinks that in the Homeland War they fought only for Croatia under the salute ‘Za dom spremni’ must know that they also fought for the NDH and (that they fought) under the completely wrong slogan.”

In reference to the ceremony for the victims at Bleiburg to be held at Zagreb’s Mirogoj Cemetery, President Milanović underscored: “I have never attended and I will not attend. My position is known.”

After laying a wreath at the Stone Flower monument, the President of the Republic laid a wreath and lit a candle at the memorial site of the Roma cemetery in Uštica near Jasenovac.