(JTA) — The Simon Wiesenthal Center condemned a memorial Mass in two Catholic churches in Croatia for Ante Pavelic, the fascist leader of the country under the Nazi regime.
The Mass, held Dec. 28 in Zagreb and Split to mark the anniversary of Pavelic’s death in 1959, "is a disgrace for the Croatian people," Efraim Zuroff, the center’s director in Jerusalem, said in a statement. He called on Croatian authorities to ban commemorations of Pavelic’s death.
Under Pavelic’s Ustasha regime during World War II, hundreds of thousands of Serbs, as well as Jewish and Roma civilians, were imprisoned and murdered in Croatian death camps.
Zuroff called the Mass "a total ridicule of Christian values" and an insult to Pavelic’s victims.