Croatian Serbs said on Monday that they will join the country’s Jews in the second consecutive snub of a commemoration for victims of the country’s Second World War death camp, accusing the authorities of tolerating pro-Nazi ideology.
The Jasenovac camp, often called “Croatia’s Auschwitz,” was the most notorious camp run by the country’s Nazi-allied Ustasha regime.
The Ustasha persecuted and killed hundreds of thousands of ethnic Serbs, Jews, Roma and anti-fascist Croatians.
Representatives of these groups also boycotted last year’s commemoration for Jasenovac victims, denouncing what they see as a resurgence of pro-Ustasha sympathies.
A spokeswoman for the Serb National Council told AFP that ethnic Serbs would boycott the April 22 event, and take part instead in an “alternative commemoration” with Croatian Jews and anti-fascist groups.
Serbs in particular are incensed by a plaque with a Ustasha slogan unveiled at Jasenovac last November, a memorial by former paramilitaries to honour fellow fighters killed in the region at the start of Croatia’s war for independence in the 1990s.