Minister: Facing the past is a prerequisite for reconciliation

NEWS 23.08.2021 13:50
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Source: N1

A culture of remembrance and dealing with the truth about the past are prerequisites for reconciliation and coexistence, Transport Minister Oleg Butkovic said on Monday on a visit to the island of Goli Otok.

“We pay respect to victims of the Communist regime that marked the history in the 20th century and the history of Croatia and the Croatian people. Remembrance culture and facing the truth are important because there are no reconciliation and coexistence if we fail to deal with some things from the past,” Butkovic was quoted by the HRT national broadcaster as saying during commemorative events on Goli Otok on the occasion of Black Ribbon Day, the Europe-wide Day of Remembrance for the victims of all totalitarian and authoritarian regimes, observed on 23 August.

The Goli Otok and Sveti Grgur prison camps operated first as hard-labour detention camps for people accused by the Yugoslav Communist authorities of supporting Soviet leader Joseph Stalin after Yugoslav Communist leader Josip Broz Tito severed ties with the Soviet Union in 1948 or who for whatever reason were declared enemies of the state. The camps were later transformed into regular prisons and closed down in 1988. According to historian Martin Previsic, 13,000 prisoners were held in Goli Otok between 1949 and 1956, when it was transformed into an ordinary prison, and over 400 of them died there.

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