Croatian leaders, ethnic groups honor victims of WWII concentration camp

Source: Xinhua| 2020-04-23 02:16:09|Editor: huaxia

ZAGREB, April 22 (Xinhua) -- Croatia's state leadership and heads of ethnic minority groups gathered on Wednesday at the memorial center in Jasenovac, 120 km southeast of Zagreb, to honor victims of the World War II concentration camp.

It's the first time since 2015 that representatives of Croatia's Serbian, Roma and Jewish communities, who were victims in the Jasenovac concentration camp, took part in a joint commemoration with the state leadership.

No speech was made on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the breakout of inmates from Jasenovac.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, after laying wreaths, told reporters that this is the fourth time he came to Jasenovac, which shows the government's continuous reverence to the victims.

"The policy we are pursuing is based on a clear condemnation of the crime, on the pity towards the victims, on nurturing a culture of memory, and on the continued and dedicated work on understanding and tolerance in society," Plenkovic said.

Croatian President Zoran Milanovic told reporters: "We came here to send a message because this is one of the worst places from World War II."

The Jasenovac concentration camp was run by the wartime Croatian fascist Ustase regime.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the breakout of inmates from the camp on April 22, 1945. Of the 1,073 inmates who were in the camp that day, some 600 attempted to escape, and only about 100 survived.

The camp was opened in August 1941 and operated until April 1945. According to the Jasenovac Memorial Site, the number of victims in the concentration camp is estimated between 80,000 and 100,000. Enditem