An unknown group attacked on Saturday several thousands of anti-fascists who flocked to the southern city of Mostar from all over former Yugoslavia to mark the 75th anniversary of the city’s liberation from fascism.
Local police did not release details about the attack and no injuries were reported.
The anti-fascists carried banners and insignia that reminded of times the joint country was ruled by Josip Broz Tito. The crowd sang Partizan songs from World War II.
They visited the Partisan Cemetery in the Bosnian Croat-majority part of Mostar where someone sprayed insulting and fascist graffiti overnight – swastikas, the symbol of the Croatian fascist Ustasas and insults targeting Partizans and Bosniaks.
“We expected this,” said Sead Djulic, the head of the Association of anti-fascists and partisans of WWII.
“They are still afraid of us,” he explained. “Everything they do is a result of their fear. We are the bearers of the ideas of the future and unity, while they live with the ideas of a distant past and that’s where the problem lies.”
Boris Petkovic arrived in Mostar from Belgrade. He said he is inspired but also disappointed because the visitors could not march through the city.
“Fascism is raising its head. They are causing problems, hatred is being sawn, poison is being poured among the people,’ he said, concluding that fascism is more present now than it was in 1943 and 1944.
“We did not manage to defeat it,” he said.
Gjorge Nikolov from Northern Macedonia proudly declared that he always was and will remain a Yugoslav.
“I don’t like divisions. We were brothers for so many years and today we are divided along national and religious lines. I divide people into those who are good and those who are bad,” he said.