Jerusalem – The Simon Wiesenthal Center today harshly condemned statements by recently-re-elected Croatian MEP Ruža Tomašić, in which she expressed sympathy for the Ustasha movement and only partially distanced herself from Ante Pavelić, the leader of the Independent State of Croatia (NDH) during World War II which committed genocide against Serbs, Jews, and Roma.
In a statement issued here today by its director for Eastern European affairs, Holocaust historian Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Center called upon Croatian political leaders to officially reject Tomašić’s statements and especially her attempt to whitewash the large-scale atrocities committed by the Ustasha and the NDH. Recently media reports in Croatia revealed, moreover, that Tomašić had published poems glorifying Ante Pavelić, and had been photographed in an Ustasha uniform while living in Canada in the 1970’s and 1980’s.
According to Zuroff:
“Ruža Tomašić is considered by many Croatians to be an excellent MEP with impressive achievements in her previous terms on behalf of Croatia. It might have been possible to overlook her activities on behalf of Croatian extremists, if she had sincerely renounced fascism and the genodical policies of the NDH. Since that is not the case, however, and she still expresses support for a movement which should be universally condemned, we urge Croatian leaders to unequivocally distance themselves from the dangerous and repulsive views of MEP Ruža Tomašić.
For additional information please contact the Israel Office of the Wiesenthal Center: