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I CARE - - Croatia: Nazi-Hunter Criticises Croatia Fans’ Fascist Chants

14.4.16

I CARE - - News - Internet Centre Anti Racism Europe: 6/4/2016- Efraim Zuroff, the director of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s Israel and Eastern Europe office and the organisation’s chief Nazi-hunter, criticised Croatian ministers in an article published in the Jerusalem Post on Tuesday for not strongly condemning fascist chanting at football matches. Croatian football fans chanted the slogan of the wartime Nazi-allied Ustasa fighting units, “Za dom spremni” (“Ready for the Home(land)”), at a football match between Croatia and Israel in March this year, as they have at international games on previous occasions. “If the prime minister and/or at least other ministers would have clearly and unequivocally denounced the disgusting behaviour of the Croatian fans after the match, the damage done would have been mitigated somewhat, but the only response from the prime minister’s office was a short press release condemning the use of symbols and slogans of totalitarian regimes, without mentioning the match and the specifics of the event,” Zuroff wrote in his article.

He also criticised Croatian Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic and Education and Sports Minister Predrag Sustar, who attended the match against Israel in Osijek, for not reacting immediately. “Given the fact that these chants were clearly heard by all those in the stadium, their failure to respond is an indication of tolerance for such outrageous, insulting and clearly anti-Semitic behaviour,” Zuroff said. Zuroff alleged that Croatia is “a country where manifestations of fascism and anti-Semitism are very common, especially in the local soccer stadiums, but not easily identifiable by those ignorant of the country’s World War II and Holocaust history”.


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