Croatia’s Jasenovac Concentration Camp: The Victims Deserve the Truth

Several times a week, the Memorial Centre at Donja Gradina - the place where prisoners in the Ustasa-run Jasenovac-Stara Gradiska concentration camp complex in Croatia were brought every day to be liquidated - publishes posts on Twitter commemorating the lives of the camp's victims.

The entry for October 23, 2020 was for Rade Suvac, a 16-year-old member of the children's group in the camp. "Dear mama," he wrote. "I am healthy and got your card. Don't worry about me. Look after yourself and little Desa. Many greetings from Rade."

Being allowed to send a message to his mother was a reward given by guards in the camp for 'good behaviour' and hard work. Rade perished in the camp in 1945.

I've been thinking about this postcard and its writer a lot in the past few days in the aftermath of the decision by Israel's Jerusalem Post newspaper to give space to a writer called David Goldman.

In an article on August 15, Goldman denied the atrocities committed in Jasenovac, where between 1941 and 1945 at least 80,000 Serb, Jewish and Roma men, women and children, as well as Croatian and Bosniak anti-fascists, were murdered.

His article also said that claims that Serb prisoners in Jasenovac were victims of genocide could not be forensically proved and represented a "disgraceful mocking" of the Holocaust. After a day or two, the Jerusalem Post removed the article and published an apology of sorts which hardly clarified matters.

In asserting that Serbs were not victims of a policy of genocide by the Nazis or their collaborators, the article represented the public coming-out of a negationist trope that has been developing for some time - denying the crimes committed against the Serbs by Croatia's World War II-era fascist...

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