Anti-Fascists Commemorate Yugoslav Partisans’ Triumph in WWII Battle
Thousands of anti-fascists from former Yugoslav countries gathered on Sunday at the Sutjeska memorial in Tjentiste in Bosnia and Herzegovina to pay tribute to the soldiers killed during the crucial battle during World War II.
A programme of cultural and artistic events was staged by organisations of anti-fascists from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia and Montenegro, intended to emphasise the importance of the battle in 1943 between Nazi-led Axis forces and the Communist-led Partisans headed by Josip Broz Tito.
The battle in May and June 1943 was a turning point in the war in Yugoslav territory. Around 16,000 Partisan fighters faced over 120,000 Axis troops but managed to break through their lines, although they sustained heavy losses, with over 7,000 Partisans killed.
"This is a sacred place for all of us, regardless of the part of our former homeland we come from," said Sead Djulic from the Alliance of Anti-Fascists and Fighters of the People's Liberation War in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Djulic warned however that "fascism has not been defeated in any of our countries".
"Neo-fascism is growing, blooming, blossoming," he said.
Wreaths were laid at the memorial by anti-fascists, and on behalf of the Croatian government by former War Veterans' Minister Tomislav Ivic, who delivered a floral tribute with the message: "[From the] Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia, Andrej Plenkovic, for the heroes of Sutjeska."
A Croatian anti-fascist near the Sutjeska memorial. Photo courtesy of Antifa Ploce.
Anti-fascists at the memorial site. Photo courtesy of Antifa Ploce.
Wreaths honouring fallen fighters. Photo courtesy of Antifa Ploce.
A wreath with the message: "[From the] Prime...