Peres: 'WWII camp was a show of sadism’

President slams Ahmadinejad during visit to Croatia.

July 25, 2010 14:56
1 minute read.
President Shimon Peres attends the ceremony at the site of Croatia's notorious WWII-era exterminatio

Peres croatia 311 AP. (photo credit: Associated Press)

Touring the site of Croatia’s World War II concentration camp, President Shimon Peres said Sunday it was a demonstration of “sheer sadism” and that Iran’s president, who has denied the Holocaust, should visit it.

Prior to leaving Croatia to return to Israel, Peres joined Croatian President Ivo Jospipovic in touring the notorious Jasenovac death camp that was known as the Croatian “Auschwitz.” Peres used the opportunity to refer to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s denials of the Holocaust. “I wish I would see him here,” Peres said.

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“And I’m asking myself why does he deny [it]?” he added. “To permit the legitimacy of continuity to kill.”

Peres placed a huge wreath in the blue and white colors of Israel on the monument that has been erected to commemorate all those who met a cruel fate at Jasenovac, among them 17,000 Jews.

Peres said that this camp had witnessed the most horrific incidents of killing and hatred.

The Nazis had left a legacy of blood and shame, he said, and what had occurred in those dark days “obligates us to do all that we can to save our children and to ensure that such atrocities are never repeated.”

Peres, who recited Kaddish at the site, said that as a Jew he could not stand in such a place without feeling the weight of the tragedy of those who were killed and the difficult struggle of those who had survived.

Peres drew a parallel between the Nazis who had a planned a final solution to the Jewish problem and Ahmadinejad who not only denies the Holocaust, but also calls for the destruction of Israel.

Echoing some of the sentiments expressed by Peres, Jospipovic said that Jasenovac was a reminder of a painful past, a place where the Ustashi had perpetrated the most atrocious crimes and had caused indescribable suffering.

“It is mandatory that we remember each of the victims and the message that they carry.”

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