Reiner at Bleiburg: Let's stop with division and let's live for future of our children

Let us finally stop with divisions and let us live for the future of our children in peace, freedom and democracy, Croatian Parliament Speaker Zeljko Reiner said on Saturday at a central ceremony commemorating the 71st anniversary of the Bleiburg tragedy in the Bleiburg field in Austria.

"We need to clearly say to all those who even today are trying to cover up the crimes committed in Bleiburg ... claim otherwise and find justifications, that we are not here today to express some alleged regret about the NDH (Independent State of Croatia), let alone celebrate or justify the Ustasha crimes, but we are here to express our deepest respect for innocent victims of the Communist crimes and that is the only truth, regardless of what anyone might say," Reiner said.

Reiner said that all those who arrived in the Bleiburg field today came to express their disagreement with the policy of crime.

"We must not forget our past, but we must learn from the past that injustice, hatred and killing had never led to anything good, anywhere. We must remember our past and teach our children the truth about it, because a people that does not remember its past is doomed to repeat it," Reiner said.

He expressed satisfaction with the fact that after 15 years, the Bleiburg commemoration is once again held under the patronage of the Croatian Parliament.

Reiner said that fascists, Nazis and Ustashas who had committed crimes during World War have mostly been punished, adding that those totalitarian ideologies have been clearly and undoubtedly condemned. He stressed that on the other hand Communist crimes against Croats committed after WWII had not been been punished, adding that those who committed those crimes had lived in peace and enjoyed great privileges.

The Commemoration was also attended by First Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Karamarko, several ministers, Deputy Parliament Speaker Ivan Tepes, envoy for the Croatian President Bruna Esih, numerous MPS, representatives of the authorities of Bosnia and herzegovina, etc.

Holy Mass was celebrated by Banja Luka  Molitvenu misu za žrtve Bleiburga i Križnog puta služio je banjalučki biskup i predsjednik Biskupske konferencije BiH Franjo Komarica.

Today's ceremony commemorated executions of Croatian soldiers and civilians who surrendered to British forces in Austria in May 1945, but were handed over to the Yugoslav Partisans. Some of them were killed in the Bleiburg field, while many perished during death marches, known as Ways of the Cross, during their repatriation to Yugoslavia. The exact number of Croatian soldiers and civilians killed has never been established and research carried out to date puts their number at at least 50,000.

Last update: Tue, 28/06/2016 - 17:52

More from Croatia

Helsinki Committee urges govt involvement in fate of post-WWII victims

ZAGREB, Oct 26 (Hina) - The executive board of the Croatian Helsinki Committee for Human Rights (HHO) on Tuesday...

Croatia to deploy one company to Lithuania in 2018 says defence minister

Defence Minister Damir Krsticevic said in Brussels on Wednesday that Croatia would deploy one company of soldiers to...

HNB: Charges against RBA, Sberbank over irregularities in loan conversion

ZAGREB, Oct 26 (Hina) - The Croatian National Bank (HNB) on Wednesday presented the Franak association of debtors...

No decision in INA to close Sisak Refinery

MOL is not planning to supply Croatia from its refineries in Hungary and Slovakia and even Tifon, which is owned by...

Croatian PM meets EC's chief Brexit negotiator

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic met on Wednesday with the European Commission's chief Brexit negotiator,...