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CROATIA: Memorials Installed for Holocaust Victims in Croatian City of Karlovac

Vuk Tesija Osijek BIRN April 12, 2024 16:54

Three ‘stumbling stone’ memorials were installed on the streets of Karlovac to remember the first three Jewish victims of the Holocaust who were detained in the city by the wartime Nazi-allied regime.

Courtesy of Balkan Insight [website: https://balkaninsight.com]

di Emanuele G. - venerdì 19 aprile 2024 - 453 letture

The first three ‘stumbling stones’ in Karlovac were installed on Friday in memory of three Jewish victims of the Holocaust who lived in the city.

The Association of Jews in Karlovac and the Centre for the Promotion of Tolerance and the Preservation of the Memory of the Holocaust laid the stumbling blocks for Filip Reiner, Iva Goldstein and David Meisel.

Reiner, Goldstein and Meisel were the first Jews to be arrested in Karlovac on April 13, 1941, just three days after the establishment of the Independent State of Croatia, NDH, a Nazi puppet state that implemented racial laws. Under the NDH, hundreds of thousands of Jews, Roma and Serbs were killed.

The memorial stones were placed in locations in Karlovac where the three victims were born, grew up, worked and spent their lives.

The Stolpersteine (Stumbling Stones) project was initiated in 1992 by German artist Gunter Demnig, who has installed tens of thousands of small concrete cubes with brass plaques remembering the victims of the Nazis all across Europe. They are placed by the building in which the victim last lived or worked of their own free will.

“I am happy that we have gathered for this special, historic moment when, with this action, Karlovac is joining many European cities where more than 100,000 Stolperstein has been installed,” said Tena Korkut, head of the Association of Jews in Karlovac.

Eighty-six stumbling stones have already been installed in the capital Zagreb.

Natasa Popovic, director of the Centre for the Promotion of Tolerance and the Preservation of Holocaust Remembrance, said that stumbling stones had also been installed in Croatia for Roma, Serb and Croatian victims of the NDH regime.

Popovic said the stones should “help citizens remind themselves of what evil hate and intolerance can cause”.

The installation of the stones was supported by the Croatian Ministry of Culture and Media and the City of Karlovac. Karlovac’s mayor Damir Mandic, who attended Friday’s ceremony, said that even today, people need to “respect the dignity of other people”.

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