New Holocaust memorial in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Published: Wed 24 Aug 2022, 3:34 PM

Ground has been broken on a new memorial site for the victims of the Second World War’s largest concentration and extermination camp in Southeast Europe.

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In partnership with several benevolent individuals and organisations, Canadian non-profit 28. Jun has begun construction on a memorial temple in Medjuvodje, today’s Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), honouring the victims of Jasenovac Camp.

The complex at Jasenovac was established by the Independent State of Croatia (NDH) in 1942 and administered by its paramilitary, the Ustasha, at the same time as mass extermination of Jews and other ethnic minorities was occurring in Germany, Poland, and throughout Europe.

In revisionist narratives, the camp is often referred to as exclusively a ‘work camp,’ however, historical evidence points to violent means being used to exterminate, by some estimates, hundreds of thousands of Jewish, Serbian, Roma, politically-opposed Croatian, and other minority groups at the hands of Ustasha.

Since liberation in 1945, only one large-scale memorial site, Stone Flower at the Jasenovac Memorial Complex, for the camp’s victims has been erected in the region.

Guided by a desire to memorialise ancestors, friends, and neighbours lost in the camp, 28. Jun partnered with the Gvozden family to ideate and fundraise for a project that would communicate to both local and wider communities the significance of the loss.

“When we sat down to conceive an idea of how we wanted to represent the memorial, we eventually settled on the idea of a memorial temple. We wanted the memorial to represent the eternal remembrance and the sacredness in which we, their descendants, hold them,” said Snezana Dimitrijevic, executive director of 28. Jun.

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