Deputy leader of the centre-left opposition Social Democratic Party (SDP), Sinisa Hajdas-Doncic, and the head of the Alliance of Antifascist Fighters and Antifascists (SABA), Franjo Habulin, have welcomed Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic's decision to attend the commemoration of Antifascist Struggle Day in Brezovica outside the the central Croatian town of Sisak on Tuesday.
“I haven’t seen him there for the past six or seven years. We’ll see whether there will be specific talk from the ruling party concerning the legacy of antifascism in Croatia, which we must foster, since it was because of the antifascist movement that Croatia ended up on the right side after the Second World War,” Hajdas-Doncic told reporters after an SDP delegation laid wreaths at the Tomb of National Heroes in Zagreb’s Mirogoj Cemetery on Monday.
Delegations of the Government, Parliament, and the City of Zagreb also laid wreaths in Mirogoj Cemetery on the occasion of Antifascist Struggle Day, which is observed on June 22, marking the formation of the first partisan detachment in Brezovica Forest on June 22, 1941. It was the first anti-Hitler unit in Nazi-occupied Europe and it marked the beginning of the armed struggle for national liberation in Croatia.
President Zoran Milanovic will also attend the commemoration in Brezovica on Tuesday.
Hajdas-Doncic said he hoped this would also lead to a better attitude towards history and the monuments commemorating antifascist struggle during the Second World War, many of which have been devastated.
Commenting on the prime minister’s decision, SABA head Franjo Habulin said that last year, a new law on national holidays and memorial days was adopted, under which events marking national holidays are organised by the Government, Parliament, and the President. “Given that the Antifascist Struggle Day ceremony is organised by the government, I think the prime minister felt the need to be there.”
Over the last 30 years, a lot of problems have accumulated regarding the attitude towards antifascism, Croatia’s antifascist history, and monuments commemorating antifascist soldiers, Habulin said, adding that the Prime Minister “obviously thinks that certain processes should be stopped and those problems should be addressed.”
“I think his attendance in Brezovica is a step in that direction.,” Habulin said.