First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia Ivica Dacic welcomed a ceremony “Protection of the culture of remembrance of WWII victims” held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today.
Minister Dacic announced an exhibition titled “The truth about Jasenovac”, to take place in January 2017, under the auspices of the Serbian academic diaspora in New York.
The Serbian Foreign Minister emphasized that it did not matter who the greatest victims were, and that it was everyone’s obligation to do everything to prevent crimes from being forgotten and repeated, especially in an era when crimes were not only negated, but also vindicated.
The Memorandum of Cooperation between the Serbian and Jewish communities, on the occasion of 75 years since the establishment of the Jasenovac concentration camp, was signed at the opening of a segment of the exhibition on Jasenovac, mounted by the Serbian academic Diaspora. Minister Dacic said that it was a modest contribution to the overall efforts aimed at preventing historical revisionism and at keeping memory of all Serbian victims of the 20th century, especially the great martyrs of Jasenovac.
“The meeting between historians Greif, Lituchy and Knut Thoresen with Emir Kusturica added impetus to closer binding together, not only at the person-to-person but also at the institutional level, too. Namely, the historic Memorandum of Understanding between the Andric Institute, the Tel Aviv Holocaust Institute, and the New York Jasenovac Research Institute, the Institute of Comparative Law and the SASA Ethnographic Museum, to begin with, will be signed”, Minister Dacic said.
Minister added that departments for researching the Holocaust and genocide committed in Yugoslavia between 1941 and 1945 would be established, while Belgrade and Andricgrad would also host international conferences in this area as early as next year.
Dacic emphasized that the gathering was a mission to preserve the achievements of mankind and the universal values of all peoples of the world, and that it aimed to network freedom-loving vanguard and intellectual elites.
“WWII Allies emerged victorious, but 75 years after the onset of WWII, the question being asked is whether the battle against fascist ideologies such as Nazism and the Ustasha movement, that were the prisons of nations and death factories with numberless torture sites and extermination camps, was won, too”, Mr. Dacic emphasized.
The Serbian Foreign Minister stressed that attempts at revisionism were a “wake-up call”, and a call to raise the awareness of the danger inherent in the restoration of fascist ideologies at a time of an advanced techno-tronic society, and a huge influence of social networks and intensification of the migrant crisis in Europe.
Minister Dacic said that today’s meeting would by no means change the world, or manage to stamp out dark ideologies, but the idea that guided all the participants in the Jasenovac project was to raise the awareness, by vehicle of the New York exhibition, of the collective identity and common values, that are to be defended in an era of major global changes.
“The question of the victims falling into oblivion is not a question for someone else, but it concerns all of us, for at a time of a severe global economic crisis and vast migration movements Europe-wide, one should keep alert to avoid falling into the trap of extremist, exclusivist ideologies, that brought the humanity to the brink of destruction and collapse, in the First and Second World Wars”, Mr. Dacic underlined. As the Minister added, the project should contribute to mobilizing the global public and to act complementary to the efforts of the United Nations aimed at preserving universal values of all peoples, such as the aspiration to peace and liberty in general and the protection of human rights in particular, as the 21st century accomplishments of our civilization.
“It is the United Nations that is the guarantor of these accomplishments, as it has adopted many resolutions and declarations, including the Durban one, where the United Nations Member States condemn any attempt of revival and restoration of Fascism, Nazism, xenophobia and violent nationalist ideologies based on racial and nationalist prejudice and bias”, Mr. Dacic pointed out.
“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is an achievement of our civilization embodying values worthy of a man, while the countering and preventing of fascist ideologies is the duty of all of us for the sake of the future of our children and mankind, Dacic concluded.
The segment of the exhibition is located at the Serbian Diplomatic Museum, which, according to Minister Dacic, contains exhibits recounting the history of Serbia.