Let's stop being hostage to the past and to divisions imposed by irresponsible politicians, Deputy Prime Minister Bozo Petrov wrote on his Facebook account after laying a wreath at the monument in Bleiburg, Austria on Friday commemorating the victims of death marches at the end of the Second World War.
"Today I laid a wreath at the monument in Austria in tribute to all victims who were killed without a trial on all execution sites in the final operations, as well as in the aftermath of the Second World War. All the victims deserve equal respect and the regimes which caused their suffering, equal condemnation. Let's stop dividing ourselves over the dead and let's build the modern Croatia on the foundations of the Homeland War, always condemning crimes and all totalitarian and authoritarian regimes," Petrov said.
"Let's stop the 'us and them' divisions and let's deal with the problems of our citizens together," Petrov said, adding that it was time Croatia stopped being hostage to its past and to divisions "imposed by irresponsible politicians who thrive on them like parasites."
"We, unfortunately, cannot return to the past to protect the victims, but we can build our future on the good," Petrov concluded.
A wreath-laying ceremony will be held in the Bleiburg field on Saturday to commemorate Croatian soldiers and civilians killed there and during death marches back to Yugoslavia by Tito's Partisans 71 years ago. Attending will be Parliament Speaker Zeljko Reiner, First Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Karamarko and presidential envoy Bruna Esih.
The commemoration is organised by the Bleiburg Guard of Honour under the patronage of the Croatian Parliament and co-patronage of the Croatian People's Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The event is co-organised by the bishops' conferences of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.