Friends of SWC Calls On Croatian Cultural Center To Cancel Ultranationalist Croatian Singer's Vancouver Concert

October 23, 2007

FRIENDS OF SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER FOR HOLOCAUST STUDIES CALLS ON CROATIAN CULTURAL CENTER TO CANCEL ULTRANATIONALIST CROATIAN SINGER'S VANCOUVER CONCERT

TORONTO – October 23/07 – As a result of the efforts of the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies (FSWC), the planned Toronto concert of  Croatian singer Marko Perkovic, known as ‘Thompson’, has been cancelled.  The Center also wants his upcoming Vancouver concert cancelled.

“Thompson has been singing for years in Croatia,” said FSWC Director of National Affairs, Leo Adler.  “One of those songs - titled Jasanovic/Stara Gardinska, which Thompson sang live in Croatia in 2002 - venerated those two infamous concentration camps where at least 90,000 Serbs, Jews, Gypsies and anti-fascist Croatians were murdered by the Ustashe movement and its Nazi collaborators during World War II.

"The difficulty with Thompson," added Adler, "is that he and his music act as a lightning rod for young Croatians who proudly wear Ustashe uniforms and display Ustashe symbols, which occurred at Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb in June."

The Simon Wiesenthal Center has been closely monitoring Thompson’s activities.  Recently, Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center notified the management of Toronto's Koolhaus Entertainment Complex of Thompson’s music and typical audience. 
 
“We were pleased to learn that the Koolhaus management cancelled Thompson’s scheduled appearance immediately after our information was forwarded..........we urge the Croatian Cultural Center in Vancouver to follow suit,” said Adler.

“Much of Thompson's music is a breach of Canadian values and possibly this country’s hate speech laws.  We have notified the Vancouver Police Hate Crimes Team because of the serious nature of this complaint and the fact that Thompson’s concerts attract extremist elements.  We are pleased with the VPC’s cooperation."

Adler said, “This is not an issue of censorship or criticism of any religion, culture or ethnicity.  Rather, this is about promoting the values of a liberal democracy.” 

For more information on this story, please see page 6 of  Response Magazine - Fall/Winter 2007 Issue,  ....

ABOUT THE FRIENDS OF SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER FOR HOLOCAUST STUDIES
Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies is a Canadian human rights organization dedicated to fostering tolerance and understanding through community involvement, educational outreach and social action. With over 25,000 members of all faiths around the world, the Simon Wiesenthal Center confronts important contemporary issues including racism, anti-Semitism, terrorism and genocide. Friends is affiliated with the world-wide, Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, an accredited Non-Government Organization with status at international agencies, including the United Nations, UNESCO, OSCE and the Council of Europe, with offices in New York, Miami, Paris, Jerusalem, Buenos Aires, and Toronto.  Simon Wiesenthal died in 2005 after devoting his life to preserving the memories of Holocaust victims, while simultaneously seeking justice for the war criminals.
  


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