Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Croatia Accused of Genocide Denial

Zagreb, 23 January: The memorial park for World War II victims in Jasenovac will be re-opened this year.

The re-opening ceremony is scheduled for springtime and, meanwhile, a project has begun to include a monument in the Memorial Museum which will display the names of all the concentration camp victims. The concept behind the monument is to stress the importance of the individual human life taken in the name of a single totalitarian ideology.

Architect Bogdan Bogdanovic has designed the monument, which will include a stylized statue of human bones.

Director of the memorial park Natasa Jovicic said that the memorial plaque will have the names of 70,000 victims, without delineating between nationalities, and there will also be an empty plaque on which names can be added, since many of the victims still remain unaccounted for.

However, historian Zorica Stipetic said that the lack of separating the names of the victims by nationalities could lead to the Jasenovac Museum becoming a holocaust museum, instead of a memorial for the genocide of Serbs and Jews.

"There will also be discrepancies between the Serbian and Croatian victims. Most, though not all, Croatian victims were killed because of conflicting ideologies, being anti-Fascist. But the Serbian villagers did not even know why they were being taken into the camp, which is by all means closer to the definition of what genocide is," Stipetic said.

Stipetic was the Serbian community's candidate for becoming the president ofthe memorial park, but Croatian Democratic Party [HDZ, Croatian ruling party]official Zoran Prpic was elected, much to the dismay of Serbian and Jewish officials, anti-Fascism organizations and concentration camp survivors.

The Jasenovac camp complex, located approximately 62 miles south of Zagreb, operated between August 1941 and April 1945. A series of five camps along the Sava River, Jasenovac was one of World War II's most brutal concentration camps. The Ustasa regime murdered tens of thousands of Serbs, Jews and Roma for racial,religious and ethnic reasons at Jasenovac. Muslims and political opponents of the regime were also murdered there. Women were separated and imprisoned in the Stara Gradiska sub-camp. The men were divided into the other four camps depending upon their backgrounds and skills.

Source: Radio B92 text website, Belgrade, in English 1446 gmt 23 Jan 06

Thursday, January 05, 2006

January 4, 2006 Wednesday 4:59 PM

Serbian president to attend commemoration for Srebrenica Serbs

BANJA LUKA, Bosnia-Hercegovina

Serbian President Boris Tadic is to join a commemoration in the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica on Orthodox Christmas for Serbs killed during thecountry's 1992-95 war, veterans' group said on Wednesday.

Tadic is to visit on Saturday the village of Kravice, near Srebrenica, where"he will lay down wreaths and pay honor to (Serb) victims," the Bosnian Serb veterans said in a statement.

Serbs accuse Bosnian Muslim forces in Srebrenica, led by their former commander Naser Oric, of having committed crimes against Serb civilians in Kravice on Orthodox Christmas Eve of January 6, 1993.

Tadic visited Srebrenica for the first time on July 11 last year, to attend ceremonies marking the 10th anniversary of the massacre of some 8,000 Muslim men and boys by Bosnian Serb forces. The Srebrenica massacre is the worst atrocity in Europe since World War II.

Bosnian Serb veterans claim that Muslim forces based in Srebrenica killed more than 3,000 Serbs in the region during the war. However, according to the UN war crimes tribunal the more accurate figure is around 990, based on information provided by Bosnian Serb prosecutors.

Oric is on trial at the UN tribunal in The Hague, facing charges for crimes allegedly committed by troops under his command mainly in Serb villages around Srebrenica in 1992 and 1993.