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Melbourne's Katarina Zrinski restaurant held a celebration this past weekend to honor World War II Croatian leader Ante Pavelic, whose genocidal policies led to the deaths of 400,000 Serbs, Jews and Gypsies.
The restaurant is attached to the local Croatian club.
The event honoring the head of the Croatian fascist Ustasha movement and the leader of Nazi-allied Croatia was an "outrageous affront" both to his victims and to any persons of morality and conscience who oppose racism and genocide, the Simon Wiesenthal Center's chief Nazi-hunter and Israel director Dr. Efraim Zuroff said on Wednesday.
According to local press reports, a large photograph of Pavelic was hung in the restaurant, T-shirts with his picture and that of two other commanders in the 1941-1945 Ustasha government were offered for sale at the bar, and the establishment of the "Independent State of Croatia" was celebrated.
Zuroff noted this was not the first time that Croatian Ã©migrÃ©s in Australia had openly defended Croatian Nazi war criminals.
"It is high time that the authorities in Australia find a way to take the necessary measures to stop such celebrations, which clearly constitute racist, ethnic, and anti-Semitic incitement against Serbs, Jews, and Gypsies," he said.
About 30,000 Croatian Jews - or 80 percent of the country's Jewish population - died during the Holocaust.
By MICHAEL WILNER
By RINA BASSIST
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