The funeral of a former Nazi concentration camp director in Croatia was a tribute to anti-Semitism, the Simon Wiesenthal Center said.
Dinko Sakic, the last surviving concentration camp director, died last week in prison at age 87. He was convicted of war crimes and sent to prison for 20 years for running the Jasenovac camp, where tens of thousands of mostly Jews and Serbs were tortured and murdered. He remained unrepentant until his death.
Croatia was run by a Nazi puppet regime during World War II, the Ustasha.
Efraim Zuroff, a Nazi hunter and head of the Wiesenthal Center’s Israel office, sent a letter to Croatian President Stipe Mesic complaining that the funeral was an “outrageous display of unrepentant racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia.”
Zuroff called for Mesic to crack down on the organizers of the funeral, including the Catholic officials involved.
A Croatian newspaper reported that a priest at the funeral, which was attended by several extreme-right politicians, called Sakic ”a model for all Croatians” and that the ex-commander was buried in a Ustasha uniform.
Mesic responded to the Wiesenthal complaint by saying he has often condemned the Nazi crimes committed by the Ustasha.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.