Israel's non-resident Embassy for Bosnia condemned, on Sunday, the Mass for Bleiburg killings announced by the Catholic Church for May 16 in Sarajevo, saying they strongly stand by the Jewish Community in Bosnia's condemnation of this event, asking the Church to reconsider its intentions.
“The state of Israel stands firm and raises its voice against all attempts of revisionism and any such and similar regrettable narratives. The Jewish Community under NDH suffered in terms which are impossible to describe. Jews were sent to their death en masse to Jasenovac and other death camps during this terrible period alongside so many other peoples,” the Tirana, Albania, based Embassy said in their statement.
“Attempting to portray all victims of WW2 as same or similar is not only incorrect, but it is highly dangerous and destructive for the reconciliation all our nations strive to achieve. We are aware many families lost their loved ones in the immediate aftermath of WW2, however, we must make a clear distinction between multitudes of innocent victims who were taken by force, often in the middle of the night and sent to death camps, such as Jasenovac and Donja Gradina, along with their entire families, by those individuals who were sentenced for organizing and committing such atrocities, even though some of them were not eligible for a fair trial,” the Embassy noted.
The Independent State of Croatia was a puppet state of Nazi Germany and fascist Italy during World War II. It was formed in parts of occupied Yugoslavia in 1941, after the invasion by the Axis powers. Its territory was made up of most of modern-day Croatia and Bosnia, parts of modern-day Serbia and Slovenia.
the Embassy warned that we must not believe nor convince ourselves and others that innocent WW2 victims and victims such as those in Bleiburg can be compared.
“Conclusively, we wish to express our full support of the stance expressed by the Jewish Community in Bosnia and Herzegovina whose more than 10 thousand members were systematically murdered by the Nazis and their NDH collaborators, a community whose leaders unequivocally condemn the aforementioned attempts,” the Embassy pointed out. “Importantly, it has become clear such attempts are also condemned by the highly esteemed citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina most of which can be proud of their families’ contribution in the anti-fascist legacy and the war against Nazism and their collaborators.”
Additionally, the Embassy commended “the highest leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina, including the members of the Presidency, the members of the Collegium of Bosnia's Houses of Parliamentary Assembly, the local leaders in the Municipality of Sarajevo and many other leaders in the country who were united in the condemnation of the event.”
They concluded saying that they join the call of many leaders and of the Jewish community to the Catholic Church to reconsider their initiative.