Thursday, April 7, 2016

Croatia: Culture Minister praises film denying Jasenovac was an extermination camp

Via Balkan Insight (h/t glykosymoritis)
Croatian Jewish representatives expressed outrage after the culture minister praised a film claiming the number of people killed by the country’s pro-Nazi WWII regime at the Jasenovac concentration camp was exaggerated.

Claims that Jasenovac was not really a concentration camp, raised in a new documentary that was screened in Zagreb on Monday evening, have angered representatives of the country’s Jewish community.

The documentary entitled Jasenovac - The Truth, made by Croatian director Jakov Sedlar, questions the number of killings at the camp which was run by the WWII-era fascist puppet state, the Independent State of Croatia, NDH.

Croatian culture minister Zlatko Hasanbegovic, who has run into controversy in the past for his views about the NDH, attended the screening and praised the film.

“Such films are useful because they speak about a number of taboo topics. This is the best way to finally shed light on a number of controversial places in Croatian history,”
Hasanbegovic said afterwards.
Slavko Goldstein, a prominent historian dealing with the Holocaust and Croatia during WWII, was also at the screening on Monday and told BIRN that Sedlar’s film promotes the idea that “Jasenovac was not a death camp, but merely a labour or prisoner camp”. 

“In my book, over a hundred or so pages, I refuted all these claims using proven facts, while these claims were again, de facto, restated in this movie,” Goldstein said.
“The movie… repeats a similar thesis that Jasenovac was a punitive camp, without massive executions,” he added.
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