A Croatian club’s restaurant that honored the countryâ€™s fascist World War II leader has enraged the Jewish community. The Katarina Zrinski restaurant, attached to Footscrayâ€™s Croatian Club in Melbourne, hung a giant portrait of Ante Pavelic on its wall Thursday and sold T-shirts of the mass murderer who was responsible for the deaths of about 500,000 Jews, Serbs, Muslims and Gypsies.
April 10 marked the 67th anniversary of Hitlerâ€™s establishment of the Nazi puppet regime â€“ the Ustache â€“ in Croatia. Manny Waks, former executive officer of the Bâ€™nai Bâ€™rith Anti- Defamation Commission, described the incident as â€œoutrageous and offensive.â€ But the clubâ€™s president, Tony Juric, told the Herald-Sun newspaper that the fascist leader Pavelic was not connected to the Nazis. “What the Nazis did was a disgrace and we had nothing to do with that,” he said. “I have never received one letter of complaint from a Jewish or a Serb organization.” Last year, Blood and Honour, a white supremacist band, held a concert in the Croatian club and Thompson, a Croatian band with alleged neo- Nazi links, also played there. The Croatian club also recently named one of its buildings in Pavelicâ€™s honor, again irking the Jewish community.