ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) — A Jewish human rights group urged Croatian authorities on Wednesday to ban a book that denies crimes committed by Croatia’s World War II pro-Nazi regime.
Chief Nazi hunter Efraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Center said in a statement that a book titled “the Jasenovac Lie Revealed” is being promoted in a Catholic church in Zagreb on Jan. 16. The book, published by the right-wing Society for Research of the Threefold Jasenovac Camp, has multiple authors.
Zuroff said the book “denies that mass murders of Serbs, Jews, Roma and Croatian anti-fascists were carried out frequently in the notorious Jasenovac concentration camp.”
“These crimes are corroborated by historical documents, testimonies of survivors and the scholarly research of numerous reputable historians,” Zuroff said, adding that works like this “would immediately be banned in Germany and Austria, and rightfully so.”
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According to history books, the Croatian Ustasha regime killed more than 83,000 Serbs, Jews, Roma and anti-fascists at the camp between 1941 and 1945. Croatia’s right-wing nationalists claim the death toll was much lower.
The book says that Jasenovac was a labor camp for enemies of the regime, and that the real death camp was established by the victorious Yugoslav Communists after the war where Ustashas were killed.
Croatia’s center-right authorities have faced criticism for their alleged lack of resolve in preventing the resurgence of pro-Nazi sentiments in the European Union country.