Jerusalem – The Simon Wiesenthal Center today protested a celebration held this past weekend in a restaurant in Melbourne, Australia in honor of Ante Pavelic, the leader of World War II Croatia, who implemented genocidal policies against the Serbs, Jews, and Gypsies living in his country, which resulted in the mass murder of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians.
In a statement issued in Jerusalem by its chief Nazi-hunter, Israel director Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Center called the celebrations held in the “Katarina Zrinski” restaurant attached to the local Croatian Club “an outrageous affront not only to the hundreds of thousands of blameless victims of the Pavelic regime and their families, but also to any persons of morality and conscience who oppose racism and genocide.”
According to Zuroff:
“This is not the first time that Croatian émigrés in Australia have openly displayed their sympathy for the fascist killers of the Ustasha and have defended Croatian Nazi war criminals. It is high time that the authorities in Australia find a way to take the necessary measures to stop such celebrations, which clearly constitute racist, ethnic, and anti-Semitic incitement against Serbs, Jews, and Gypsies.”
[According to local press reports, a large photograph of Pavelic was hung in the restaurant, T-shirts with his picture and that of two other Ustasha commanders were offered for sale at the bar, and the establishment of the fascist state of “Independent Croatia,” which fully collaborated with Nazi Germany was celebrated last weekend.]