Most parliamentary groups in Croatia support draft law banning Ustasha symbols

The Jewish community of Zagreb reported that a majority of the political groups in the Croatian Parliament support an initiative for a legal framework to ban Ustasha insignia and the glorification of Ustasha war criminals in Croatia.

The statement by the community followed a meeting held on 22 January between parliamentary groups representing government and opposition parties and representatives of the national minorities and anti-fascists,  who were victims of the pro-Nazi Independent State of Croatia (NDH) during World War II.

“A preliminary draft is ready. If there is political will, it can be put to a vote in Parliament by the summer, and we can finally move from words to deeds and deal with the blackest history of Croatia and resolve this issue”,  said Ognjen Kraus, President of the Jewish Community of Zagreb, and of the Coordinating Committee of Jewish Communities in Croatia.

However, the support of the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) is crucial in order to achieve the required majority. So far, there has been no commitment, and without their support, the law will not be able to pass.

“I hope we can finally get rid of the stain that has been looming over Croatia for years”, Kraus stressed.

“Every day, events take place in our country that could qualify for that. A few days ago, a Stolperstein honouring Šalom Freiberger was was smashed on Zagreb’s Amruševa street”, said Kraus, adding that the police response to the report had been shameful.

“If we want to be a civilized country, we must resolve this issue,” he stressed.

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