TO: Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic

As a supporter of the World Jewish Congress, I stand with the Jewish community in Croatia in calling for the establishment of an international historical commission on the Holocaust in Croatia.

I am concerned about what appears to be attempts to downplay the full extent of the crimes of the Ustasha regime during WWII.

Examples of this include:

  • The placement of a plaque featuring “Za dom spremni,” the Ustasha salute in the municipality of Jasenovac. While the plaque was presumably taken down in September 2017, the leader of a Croatian veterans group has said that it is being moved to another location.
  • At the permanent exhibition of the Jasenovac camps, the history of the site presents what were concentration and death camps as mere labor camps.
  • In April 2016, Croatian Minister of Culture Zlatko Hasanbegović publicly celebrated Jasenovac—The Truth, by the Croatian filmmaker Jakov Sedlar, which falsely presents Jasenovac as a labor camp, and claimed that the number of victims from this camp had been exaggerated.

In this time of resurgent anti-Semitism throughout Europe where Jewish communities are confronted with a renewed sense of unease and danger, it is more important than ever that governments make every effort to protect and defend their citizens, and offer an honest and accurate remembrance of their nation’s past crimes against humanity.

Any ambiguity about the role of the Ustasha regime in the Holocaust erases the atrocious crimes they committed against Jews, ethnic Serbs and Roma.

It is vital to establish an international historical commission consisting of recognized international Holocaust scholars, historians, and representatives of the communities that were victimized by the Ustasha during the Holocaust. Such a commission would gather the appropriate research and set the record straight on the crimes of the Ustasha during WWII.

Such an action will send an important message to your community, to Jewish communities throughout Europe, and to other European governments who attempt to rewrite the true and painful history of WWII and the Holocaust.





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