A prayer service was held in the northwestern border town of Macelj on Sunday to commemorate people killed there by the communist regime 71 years ago.
An estimated 13,000 people were executed in the woods surrounding Macelj in early June 1945. Remains of 1,163 victims have been exhumed to date from a large number of pits, which makes Macelj the largest execution site of the communist regime in Croatia. More than 130 pits in the Macelj area have not been investigated yet.
Andrija Hebrang, former head of the parliamentary office on communist victims, which was dissolved by the government of previous prime minister Zoran Milanovic, said that there were 940 pits across Croatia and 170 in Slovenia which contained remains of communist victims, adding that the pits should be opened and the mortal remains given a decent burial and marked as victims of communism.
He said that 23 grave sites in the Macelj area had been investigated to date and that the investigations had been halted in 1992.
Before the Mass, wreaths were laid and candles lit at the tomb, which contains the remains of the 1,163 executed persons, by delegations of state institutions, including presidential envoy Bruna Esih, MP Zarko Tusek on behalf of the speaker of Parliament, and Veterans' Minister Tomo Medved.