Wiesenthal Center Welcomes Opening of Investigation by Austrian Authorities of the Display of Fascist Ustasha Symbols at Recent Bleiburg Gathering

Jerusalem – The Simon Wiesenthal Center today expressed satisfaction in the wake of confirmation received via the Austrian Embassy in Tel-Aviv that the Austrian authorities had launched an official criminal investigation into the widespread display of fascist Ustasha symbols at the May 12 gathering of Croatian nationalists in Bleiburg, Austria. The Center’s chief Nazi-hunter Israel director Dr. Efraim Zuroff had officially protested the failure of the Austrian authorities to prevent or stop the display of the symbols of the Croatian fascist Ustasha movement which “made a mockery of Austria’s ban on Nazi symbols and its law against Holocaust denial,” shortly after the event.

In a statement issued in Jerusalem, Zuroff welcomed the launching of the investigation and urged its expedition “to send an unequivocal message that Austria will not allow the display of symbols which extol the fascist movement which conducted an official policy of genocide against Serbs, Jews, and Gypsies during World War II.”

“In that respect, there was absolutely no difference between the Nazis and their Ustasha allies,” said Zuroff.

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