At the end of July, we commemorate the 71st anniversary of Ustashe crimes in Glina and its surroundings. With this statement we would like to remind the public of the state in which today stand memorials in this area and of the inadequate treatment of these symbols of atrocities and suffering of Glina’s inhabitants of all nationalities, but mostly of Serbian nationality. Mass murders of Glina’s citizens, men older than 15, in May, as well as mass crime committed in the Serbian Orthodox Church in Glina at the end of July, and probably also at the beginning of August 1941, stand out among many other crimes committed in 1941.
The church itself was a victim of culturocide, and was torn down after the crime in August 1941. The site of these crimes was marked for the first time in 1969, when a memorial house was built, while arranging of the memorial space lasted until 1995. In the end, memorial plaques were erected, containing 1,564 names of killed victims. In August 1995, after the operation Storm, the memorial was demolished, the plaques removed, while the “memorial house” was renamed into “Croatian house”.
We are deeply convinced that this should not have happened and that everybody’s responsibility in Glina is to declare themselves in favour of giving the memorial its original name back and in favour of the return of memorial plaques to the very places in which they were originally erected. The issue of complex re-arrangement of the memorial house, carrying authentic memorial functions, in the city centre can and should be put on the agenda only after this is done. We also believe this should be done in cooperation with the city of Glina, Sisačko-moslovačka county and the Republic of Croatia expert institutions.
Many things related to tragic and traumatic events which happened in Glina and its surroundings in 1941 remain, until this day, under-researched. For this reason, at the initiative of the Department for History of the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb, and in cooperation with the Croatian State Archives, organization Documenta – Centre for Dealing with the Past and Serbian National Council, an international scientific colloquium was held from June 28 to 30, 2012, under the title: What really happened in Glina’s Orthodox church between July 29/30 and August 4/5, 1941? Testimonies and cultural memory. The aim of the colloquium was to contribute to the exact identification of facts and creation of preconditions for the culture of thinking, which would pay respects to victims and would be a guarantee for ethnic-confessional reconciliation and humanization of relations among people. We believe that publishing of a collected volume with works presented at the colloquium, in 2013, would significantly contribute to this.
The most important next step should be made in Glina. The building standing in the place of the Serbian-Orthodox church should be given back its original name – memorial house – and the plaques bearing names of victims should be returned to their places.
Vesna Teršelič, Documenta – Center for Dealing With the Past
Zoran Pusić, Civic Committee for Human Rights
Nadežda Čačinovič, Croatian P.E.N. Center
Saša Milošević, Serbian National Council
Nikola Miljević, Serbian National Minority Council of Town Glina
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