Croatian Fascism Rears its Ugly Face at Home and Abroad

October 2, 2022

Jerusalem-In two recent incidents, Croatian fascism reared its ugly face at home and abroad. This week the Croatian weekly Express published the faces of Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, Italian soon-to-be Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán with Hitler mustaches under the headline "Achtung Croatia between Three Mini-Fascisms." While these three politicians are indeed right-wing conservatives, to brand them as Nazis is simply a disgusting and unfair description, which is in extremely poor taste and an insult to the victims of the Nazis.

In Australia, a rowdy crowd of Croatian supporters of the Sydney United football club gave Nazi salutes and sang “Za Dom Spremni, (For the Homeland ready), the Croatian equivalent of the Nazi salute of “Sieg Heil,” during a “Welcome to the land” ceremony, which acknowledges the fact that the lands on which the stadium was built originally belonged to the Aborigines.

Both incidents reflect the deep-seated fascism prevalent in Croatia and among Diaspora Croatian communities. According to Holocaust historian Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Wiesenthal Center’s Director of Eastern European Affairs, such manifestations are not surprising. “Since the breakup of Yugoslavia and the establishment of the Croatian state, with few exceptions the government has not sufficiently emphasized the criminal nature of the Independent State of Croatia and the horrific crimes by the Ustasha movement, which governed the country and sought to destroy the Serb, Jewish, and Roma communities.”

For additional information please contact the Israel Office of the Wiesenthal Center: Tel: 972-2-563-1274 or Tel: 972-50-721-4156, follow the Center on Facebook, or @simonwiesenthal and @EZuroff for news updates sent directly to your Twitter feed.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

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