A commemoration on the occasion of the 77th anniversary of the Bleiburg tragedy and subsequent death marches was held at the Central Cross at Zagreb's Mirogoj cemetery with the laying of a joint wreath by Croatian Parliament and the Government, the Wreath of the Honorary Bleiburg Platoon and a prayer for the victims.
The joint wreath of Parliament and the Government was laid by Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković and the envoy of the Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Gordan Grlić Radman.
Prayers were also said during the commemoration at Mirogoj.
The prayer called for peace and said that every victim should be respected and that Bleiburg should never be repeated. Wreaths were also laid by the Parliament Speaker Jandroković who said that today we remember a difficult and painful event that had been kept secret for many years.
After the commemoration at Mirogoj, Parliament Speaker Jandroković commented on the possible highlighting of symbols from the Independent State of Croatia at a commemoration in Udbina, while Milan Kovač commented on the ban on gatherings in Bleiburg.
“This crime committed by the communist authorities of the former Yugoslavia, kept secret for 45 years, was not allowed to be talked about, which is logical because the perpetrators were those who represented the communist system and hid the truth about the event and protected those responsible. Tens of thousands of people were killed on the death marches. They were killed cruelly, brutally and without trial,2 said Jandroković.
Referring to the possible highlighting of the symbols from the Independent State of Croatia at a commemoration in Udbina, he said that competent state bodies would react in that case.
Milan Kovač, the Deputy President of the Honorary Bleiburg Platoon, commented on the Austrian ban.
“When ideology intervenes, then such things happen. We did not celebrate any, as they say, ideology or regime there, but we went as pilgrims, with rosaries in our hands to pray for the souls of our compatriots. I hope we will be able to prove on appeal that this is a false accusation,” he said.
The program to mark the Bleiburg tragedy and the subsequent death marches began in Udbina, where citizens from all over Croatia came this year as well, many of them organized in buses.
The organizer of the commemoration is the Honorary Bleiburg Platoon, co-organized by the Croatian Bishops' Conference, and sponsored by Croatian Parliament.
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