Croatia’s Jewish community confirms on Monday it will boycott an official Holocaust commemoration to protest the government’s alleged inaction to curb the surge of neo-Nazi sentiments in the country.
The Coordinating Committee of the Jewish Communities of Croatia says it will hold its own remembrance at the Nazi-run World War II death camp Jasenovac on April 15, a week before the ceremony that is to be attended by government officials.
Jewish committee officials accuse Croatia’s new right-wing government of ignoring open public resurgence of anti-Semitism, including pro-Nazi slogans chanted by Croatian fans during a soccer match between Croatia and Israel last month.
Tens of thousands of Jews, Serbs and Gypsies died in death camps run by the Nazi puppet state of Croatia during WWII. Some 30,000 Jews are estimated to have been slaughtered during the existence of the so-called Independent State of Croatia, most of them in the Jasenovac camp, which is known as the Croatian Auschwitz.
Croatian President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic says Croatia should unite “over the fundamental values of the society, in this case over the commemoration of the death of the innocent Jasenovac victims.”