Memorial built on site of Jasenovac concentration camp in Croatia
Memorial built on site of Jasenovac concentration camp in CroatiaiStock

The President of the Coordinating Committee of Jewish Communities in Croatia, Ognjen Kraus, warned during a Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony this week that Holocaust denial remains a major problem in the country and denounced the destruction of thousands of Jewish graves, according to Balkan Insight.

“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 also decried the exhumation of over 3,500 Jewish graves at Zagreb’s Mirogoj Cemetery through a regulation allowing such a process to take place if fees for the plot had not been paid for 10 years.

Kraus remarked during the ceremony by the Jewish Community of Zagreb that 80 percent of Croatia’s Jewish community (35,000 Jews) were murdered by the Ustasa Nazi-allied regime that ran the Independent State of Croatia (1941-1945).

Today, the Jewish population of Croatia is around 1,700, according to the Institute for Jewish Policy Research.

Kraus used his speech to call on Croatia to enact sanctions on those who commit Holocaust denial. He also gave his support to increasing fines for displaying symbols inciting hatred from 700 to 4,000 euros.

“We are witnessing culturocide and we are waiting to disappear,” he said.