10. 11. 11. - 14:00 croatiantimes.com
Croatian anti-fascists accuse state of supporting WWII crimes revisionism

Croatian anti-fascists (SAB) have accused the Croatian state of "tolerating and sponsoring" historical revisionism that tries to equalise the fascist crimes in World War II with those committed by communists.

The Anti-Fascist Union (SAB) together with its honorary president, former Croatian head of state Stjepan Mesic, have issued a statement in response to the recent arrest of Josip Boljkovac, former head of Karlovac branch of the Yugoslav secret police (OZNA). He is said to have been responsible for deaths of civilians found buried in mass graves in Kozjaca and Duga Resa in central Croatia.

In their statement, the anti-fascists warn that extremism in Croatia is growing, at times abetted by the state.

"For twenty years, the Nazi-fascist and ustasche crimes have been systematically reduced or omitted, and the topic of so-called "communist crimes" has been imposed. At the same time, hardly anyone mentions the fact that in this same period, more than 3,000 monuments to anti-fascist fighters and victims of fascism – to whom we are grateful for the existence of today’s, indepednent Croatia – have been destroyed." The Independent State of Croatia (1941-1945) ustasche regime collaborated with the Nazis during World War II.

The SAB warns that while other European states have fought occasional extremism with their institutions, Croatia has "tolerated and sponsored" extremism and revisionism, daily Vecernji List writes.

Current Interior Minister Tomislav Karamarko has pledged to uncover and prosecute suspects believed to have been responsible for the execution of soldiers and civilians after the war had ended. Karamarko said there are as many as 672 mass graves in which close to 90,000 victims - Independent State of Croatia (NDH) soldiers, German and Italian soldiers and civilians - are buried.

Mesic has accused Karamarko however of starting a witch hunt in the hope of gaining right wing votes.

The director of Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Jerusalem, a global Jewish human rights organisation that teaches the lessons of the Holocaust to future generations, sent a statement of support for Croatian anti-fascists.

Efraim Zuroff warned that the world has witnessed in the last years dangerous attempts at historical revision of World War II that tries to downplay the guilt of those responsible for the Holocaust and similar crimes against civilians.

"Part of that campaign is to, without foundation, equalise the crimes of Nazis – or ustasche in Croatia – with the crimes committed by communists," Zuroff said.