Tuesday 3.01.2012 | 12:30 b92.net
Mass served for WW2 Croat Nazi leader

ZAGREB, JERUSALEM -- Mass was served for Ante Pavelić in two Catholic churches in Croatia at the end of December, causing condemnation from the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Pavelić was the leader of the Independent State of Croatia (NDH), supported by the German Nazi regime.

He died in 1959 in Spain.

During the Second World War, Pavelić's Ustasha regime imprisoned and murdered hundreds of thousands of Serb, as well as Jewish and Roma civilians in Croatian death camps.

The Jerusalem-based Center issued a statement, saying that the religious ceremony - performed to mark the anniversary of Pavelić's death - was shameful for the Church in Croatia, and unacceptable for a state one step away of joining the EU.

The Center's director, Efraim Zuroff, said mass services represented a serious insult to Pavelić's victims, and called on the Croatian authorities to in the future ban such commemorations.

According to Croatia's index.hr website, mass was served for Pavelić in the towns of Zagreb and Split on December 28.