Deputy Parliament Speaker Dragica Zgrebec said on Tuesday that Holocaust Memorial Day, January 27, was a day to send a message that peace, freedom, equality, solidarity, respect for differences and the right to choice of every man, are a pledge for the future of mankind.
International Holocaust Memorial Day was marked in the Croatian parliament with all MPs present, as well as President-elect Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic, government officials, church dignitaries, and representatives of Jewish and Roma associations.
Holocaust Memorial Day is a national commemoration day in the majority of European countries dedicated to the remembrance of those who suffered under Nazi persecution and commemorating the day when 7,500 prisoners were liberated from the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1945, Zgrebec recalled.
The Holocaust is the catastrophe and consequence of Nazi racist laws that led to a genocide in which primarily Jews and Roma were killed by the Nazi regime but also anyone who opposed Nazism and Fascism or were just different, Zgrebec underscored.
Holocaust is the term for genocide, she said, which is used in an effort to highlight the intensity of hatred of the Jews and ideological condemnation of Judaism as the basis of Nazi ideology. The Nazi regime destroyed other groups too – homosexuals, mentally ill and political opponents.
Zgrebec recalled massive deportations at the time when people were taken to prison camps and the horrific killings that occurred there. “We must never forget the men, women and children and their agony,” she said.
MPs paid tribute to the victims with a moment’s silence.