The decision to remove the names of supporters of the Nazi-allied Ustasha regime in Mostar represents “a clear message that these criminals and the views they represent will not be accepted,” the head of the Jewish Community of the southern Bosnian city said.
Following a Mostar City Council vote, the local streets that were named after Mile Budak, Ante Vokic, Mladen Lorkovic, Rafael Boban, Djuro Spuzevic, Jure Francetic, and Ivo Zelenika are being renamed.
A statement by the local Jewish Community said that Mostar is setting an example for all the cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“Issues of ethics, morals and values are of paramount importance and their impact on public discourse and on the community is invaluable. Therefore, there is no room for ambiguity and a clear and firm position must be expressed whether by city councils across the country, government institutions, non-governmental organisations, and public figures,” the statement said.
“A historical justice has been done today. I want to thank Mostar City Council and mayor Mario Kordic, they took a moral and just decision to eradicate the memory of the criminals who took an active role in the extermination of Jews and other helpless minorities during the darkest time in human history,” said the President of the Jewish Community of Mostar, Amir Gross Kabiri.
“The City of Mostar, its leaders and people, have once again shown, that at critical historical and social junctions, when moral principles are to be set, we must unite around the right decision that will further strengthen our solid and moral community,” he said.
The religious leader stressed that 8330 Jews were murdered in Sarajevo and 137 Jews were murdered in Mostar during the Second World War.
“As head of the Jewish Community of Mostar, I am committed to ensuring that history will not be forgotten and that no Jew will ever feel threatened in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” he said.