President of the Coordinating Committee of Jewish Communities in Croatia Ognjen Kraus said that Holocaust denial is going unpunished in the country and Jewish graves are being obliterated at a Yom Hashoah ceremony at Zagreb’s Mirogoj cemetery.
“In the general public, but also in the educational system, denial of the Holocaust is happening and not only remains unsanctioned, but such people are elected to the highest positions, even to the position of [university] dean,” Kraus said.
He added that more than 3,500 Jews’ remains have been recently exhumed at the Mirogoj cemetery under regulations that stipulate that if the fees for a burial plot are not paid for ten years, it can be exhumed.
“We are witnessing culturocide and we are waiting to disappear,” he said.
During the ceremony organised by the Jewish Community of Zagreb, candles were lit and wreaths were laid in front of a sculpture of Moses at the cemetery.
Kraus noted in his speech that 35,000 Jews, 80 per cent of Croatia’s Jewish population, were killed by the Ustasa regime in the Nazi-allied Independent State of Croatia from 1941 to 1945.
He said the Jewish community is demanding sanctions for Holocaust denial and welcomed amendments to Croatia’s Law on Misdemeanours increasing fines for displaying symbols that incite hatred from 700 to 4,000 euros.
He also said that he hoped that the Croatian Football Association will implement its commitment to stop matches if there are incidents of discrimination, racism or antisemitism.