Commemoration of the Genocide and the Holocaust Day, in Serbian case connected to the uprising of the last Jasenovac camp inmates on April 22nd 1945, began with the liturgy in the Church of Saint Apostles Peter and Paul in Kozarska Dubica held by Archbishop of Banja Luka Jefrem, president of Jasenovac Committee of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

Commemoration had been continued in Jasenovac camp killing and burial field, Donja Gradina, where at 11:00 main ceremony was held in presence of several thousand people, among them many relatives of Jasenovac’s victims.

On burial field “Oaks” clergy of the Serbian Orthodox Church held memorial service, followed by the Jewish and Roma services held by Dragoljub Acković and Josef Atijas. Delegation of authorities of the Republic of Srpska led by President of Republic of Srpska Milan Jelic and Prime Minister Milorad Dodik addressed attendees. For the first time a delegate of High Representative in BiH has been present - deputy of Christian Schwarz-Schilling, Clarisse Pasztory.

The event in Banja Luka was held within a frame of the anniversary of the city liberation in the Second World War. On the square in front of the buildings of the Assembly and Government of the Republic of Srpska, at 13:30 the monument to the Jasenovac victims was unveiled. Cruciform monument has The Poplar of Horror in the middle, the tree where Jasenovac victims were mortified and killed. The monument was consecrated by Bishop of Banja Luka Jefrem, and services of Romas and Jews followed. The attendees were addressed by the Mayor Dragoljub Davidović and the Chairman of the Association of the Camp Inmates Survivors Gojko Knežević. The ceremony was closed with laying wreaths.

In Jasenovac more people attended anniversary than a year ago. On the site of The Stone Flower President of Croatia Stjepan Mesić, Minister of science and education Dragan Primorac, Nataša Mataušić, Zorica Stipetić (the head of the Council of Jasenovac Memorial Area) and former camp inmate Jakob Atijas gave speeches. For victims prayed rabbi of Zagreb Kotel DaDon, Presbyter Slobodan Lalić, delegate of the Serbian Orthodox Bishop of Slavonija Sava, imam of Sisak and Moslavina county Alen Crnkić and Roman-Catholic parish priest of Jasenovac Mario Cimbal. Serbian ambassador Radivoj Cvijetićanin and consuls of Republic of Serbia were present. Direct telecast was on HRT channel 2.

In Belgrade, representatives of Serbia’s Government, Army of Serbia and City of Belgrade laid wreaths at the monument to the victims killed in camp Staro Sajmište. There was honorary salvo, and survivors were present. Sajmište at the beginning was Jewish concentration and death camp, and after they were destroyed became camp for others. Nowadays it is planned for Sajmište to become central memorial area for victims of the Holocaust and the genocide during the Second World War in Serbia. In Serbia in 1993., with Law of Establishing of the Museum of Genocide Victims it was decided that 22nd of April is Day of remembrance of the genocide and the Holocaust victims, as OSCE accepted as well.

In downtown Belgrade, Roma’s Party held special ceremony named “Stop! – Never Again!”, where they remembered hundreds of thousands murdered Romas, Serbs and Jews in Jasenovac. They mentioned victims from the last war in ex-Yugoslavia and uncared refugees from Kosovo and Metohija as well, among whom great numbers are Roma. “Only from Kosovo were depopulated and exiled more than two hundred thousands people,” said President of Roma’s Party Srđan Šajn.

In the New York City, in the Serbian Orthodox Parish hall, Jasenovac Research Institute organized showing of two movies about Jasenovac. Michael Bloomberg, the Mayor of New York, already traditionally proclaimed 22nd of April as the Day of Jasenovac, and JRI organized commemoration at the site of the monument devoted to Jasenovac in the Holocaust memorial park in Brooklyn.





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