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Jerusalem-The Simon Wiesenthal Center today sent an urgent letter to the Zagreb City Council urging it to reject a proposal to be decided tomorrow to honor Croatian film director Jakov Sedlar, whose most recent film minimized the crimes of the Ustasha (Croatian fascists) at the notorious Jasenovac concentration camp.
In a letter sent today to Zagreb city council president Andrija Mikulić by its chief Nazi-hunter Dr. Efraim Zuroff, who is also responsible for Eastern European affairs, the Center expressed its unequivocal objection to honoring Sedlar whose latest film seeks to distort the history of World War II and the Holocaust.
According to Zuroff's letter:
"Mr. Sedlar's most recent film 'Jasenovac – Truth' … outrageously seeks to rewrite the history of the Independent State of Croatia and deny the scope of the horrific crimes committed at the Jasenovac concentration camp. His attempt to minimize the number of innocent Serbs, Jews, Roma and anti-fascist Croatians murdered by the Ustasha at Jasenovac is an insult to the victims and a basis for harsh criticism, not awards of any kind, from the Zagreb municipality.
"Allow me to point out in this regard, that the fact that Mr. Sedlar's films are in the Yad Vashem Visual Center, which is one of the reasons presented to honor him, is no indication whatsoever of any value or any endorsement of their content. Attached is a letter from Dr. Robert Rozett, director of the Yad Vashem libraries, who is also responsible for the Visual Center, where Sedlar's films are stored, which clearly notes this fact.
"We urge you to unequivocally reject any proposal to honor Sedlar, whose work belongs in the dustbin of Croatian history and is not worthy of any approval or recognition."
For additional information please contact the Israel Office of the Wiesenthal Center: Tel: 972-2-563-1274 or Tel: 972-50-721-4156, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter, or follow @simonwiesenthal & Follow us on Twitter: @EZuroff for news updates sent direct 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).