Jasenovac - Surviving former inmates, top Croatian officials, foreign ambassadors in Croatia, and many other delegations on Sunday attended a ceremony commemorating the 69th anniversary of the break-out of inmates from the Ustasha-run Jasenovac camp on 22 April 1945, paying tribute to 83,000 victims of this WW2 camp.
Of the 1,073 inmates who were in the camp on 22 April 1945, 600 attempted to escape and only about a hundred survived. The remaining 473 inmates who did not try to escape were killed and their bodies were cremated. The camp Jasenovac was the largest forced-labor and concentration camp set up by the Nazi-style Independent State of Croatia (NDH) in marshland at the confluence of the Sava and Una rivers near the village of Jasenovac in the second half of 1941 and operated until the breakout in 1945.
Addressing today's commemoration, President Ivo Josipović, Parliament Speaker Josip Leko and Prime Minister Zoran Milanović as well as other speakers sent a message that crimes such had been committed in Jasenovac should never again be allowed to happen.
Parliament Speaker Leko said that Jasenovac was a place of admonition. -We gather here to pay tribute to innocent victims and also to show solidarity with all those who today suffer due to violence, discrimination and humiliation, Leko said. -Any regime that builds its power on stamping out and thwarting human freedoms and rights deserves the strongest condemnation, and the Ustasha regime was such one, Leko said describing that regime as the period of violence, reign of terror and murders. -The present-day democratic and European Croatia is founded on the values of anti-Fascism, peace, freedom, democracy and human and minority rights' protection. We are building our future on those pillars, he said.
Wreath-laying ceremonies and religious rites were also held during today's commemorative events. (Hina)