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