In a damning indictment of the Croatian government, its Jewish community has declared it will boycott the country’s official Holocaust commemoration events this year in protest over inaction to curb neo-Nazism.
Every April, Croatia honours the victims of the Jasenovac death camp, operated by the pro-Nazi Ustasha regime of World War II. The camp is termed as Croatia’s Auschwitz. The Coordinating Committee of the Jewish Communities of Croatia has said it would instead hold its own commemoration “in line with Jewish tradition” rather than participating in the government one.
The committee’s president, Ognjen Kraus, told the Voice of America radio station the decision was derived at following cases of open anti-Semitism, including chants by demonstrators of pro-Nazi slogans at an anti-government march in January and during a soccer match between the Israeli and Croatian national teams last month.
“The state is simply not doing anything about it and does not want to,” Kraus said.
The Croatian government has yet to respond to the Jewish community’s decision.