Speech dedicated to the 60th Anniversary of Jasenovac Camp
Banja Luka, 17.04.2005.
Inmates’ Breach, the Holocaust and Victory over Fascism
60 years have past since atrocities have been committed against Serbs, Jews, Roma and anti-fascist in the region of the Independent State of Croatia in the Second World War. Genocide took place here, the worst crime against humanity, by killing hundreds of thousands innocent people, women, children, and the old just because they belonged to the different religion, nation or ideology.
The Ustasha villains led by Ante Pavelic used the same cruelty against those Croats who sheltered and supported the exiles putting their own lives at risk.
The truth has never been precisely determined, the crime has been left without punishment, the perpetrators have never faced responsibility, the justice has not been satisfied, and the victims have not received compensations, although the consequences of such an outrageous genocide have impacted on various nations.
We have a historical obligation, towards our own people and towards the whole mankind, to permanently continue to search for truth about sufferings of Serbs, Jews, Roma and anti-fascist in the Jasenovac’s factory of death, to stop our long-lasting silence and speak up about the truth.
Many years that have passed since the atrocities took place should not serve the purpose of speculating about the atrocities. The atrocities have the dimension that time could not change.
Unfortunately, last decades have most frequently been used to encourage forgetfulness and not memories. What else to conclude when the first commemoration at the state level dedicated to victims of Jasenovac, here in Jasenovac area was held 20 years after the Second World War.
Here, on this site, in Jasenovac and Donja Gradina, 60 years ago, thousands of passengers reached their last station of life. At the last station of life there was no one alive to wait for those passengers, except for the cutthroats.
If the dead, like Christ himself, could restore to life and speak once again, the victims of Jasenovac would have risen from the dead mute, because there are no words to describe their anguish and there is no human language to utter a word powerful enough and equal to justice that could punish the Ustasha butchers.
If those who had been buried here in grounds would resurrect they could only let out a scream from their hearts that had stopped beating, because the perpetrators slaughter their throats. They would set off in a silent procession of over seven hundred thousands exhausted bodies, wanting to be seen by all, especially those ones who could once again become butchers of peoples.
Here lies a proof of human evil, for which we would like today to pronounce sentence more severe than any other pronounced in the past.
And while there is humankind we must punish again and again the executioners of those buried in the mass graves of the Jasenovac’ execution site Donje Gradine whose tortured bodies are below us and their drained souls above us. The perpetrators must not be left without punishment any year.
Let us punish them by memories of their victims, because the only rightful punishment to the perpetrators will be if they do not repeat their atrocities.
Such crimes may be repeated at another place, in another time, in another language, and wearing different symbols.
Let us punish them by having faith in a human being, regardless of which language did he speak, in which God did he believe, because God descended from Haven and became a man so that people could have faith in him.
Let us punish them by punishing ourselves, if we have any internal doubts.
Let us punish them justly by not having allowed their descendants to appear among us.
One can not wash off blood by spreading blood. Blood mixed with blood sheds new blood. That applies to everybody even our brothers.
The perpetrators of atrocities in Jasenovac could not be justified to anyone and by anything.
One who has committed such atrocities perhaps in the name of his people at the same time committed crime against his own people.
One who has committed such atrocities perhaps in the name of God expecting His blessing at the same time committed crime against God in whom he believes in.
One who has committed such atrocities in the name of revenge, at the same time he took revenge against his own people.
All of us in BiH are taking a historical exam together with our neighboring peoples and states to show if we have collected enough strength to bring to an end the vicious circle in which a victim today becomes a villain tomorrow, and hatred today becomes revenge tomorrow.
Instead of seeking a balance in committed crimes, it is a high time that peoples which had been in conflict until only yesterday start seeking a balance in justice to deal with perpetrators of crimes.
All of us will face God’s full judgment, and before Him we do not have to confess our evil deeds if we had committed any, because God does not have to hear, He knows.
To you, our ancestor, we promise, like we do every year, that we will continue to punish your executioners in the most truthful manner we can;
President of the Republic of Srpska