Organized by the Council of the Serbian National Minority (VSNM) of Karlovac County and the organizations of anti-fascists from the Karlovac area, a commemoration was held in Veljun in the region of Kordun, on the anniversary of the Ustasha crime committed on St. George’s Day in 1941 against Serbs of the Veljun area, only 26 days after the Independent State of Croatia (HND) was established. After the liturgy and commemoration of all the victims, Boris Milošević, Member of Parliament, laid wreaths at the memorial ossuary and afterwards at the monument whose memorial plaques bearing the names of the victims were devastated several times.
This crime was committed by the Ustasha regime, which opened the Danica concentration camp in Koprivnica already in the first month of its existence, promulgated racial laws, and committed horrific crimes, first in Gudovac near Bjelovar, where 200 Serbs were slaughtered on April 27, and then here. We are talking about the period from April 10 to May 10, 1941. This was an indication of the true character of the so-called Independent State of Croatia (HND) and what would await the opponents of that state, primarily Serbs. They showed no mercy to anyone. The only thing left for the Serbs was to connect with their brothers, the anti-fascist Croats and to start fighting for their lives together – said Boris Milošević.
“It is important,” Milošević continued, “to commemorate this terrible crime and not forget the victims, precisely since the people here died only because they were of other faiths and nations. The four-year-old evil, which began with this crime, showed the true character of human hatred, and that is why we must continue to strive for peace, tolerance, coexistence, and mutual respect,” concluded the SDSS (Independent Democratic Serb Party) MP.
As a reminder, the Ustashas first liquidated the large family of miller Joso Mravunac, accused the Serbs of the murder, and massacred 525 men aged 18 to 75 in retaliation. The monument in Veljun was devastated three times. In 2014 brass plates with the names of the victims were torn off. The perpetrators were caught, 49 plaques were returned, restored, and placed back on the monument in 2015, but the culprits were not prosecuted or punished. However, the first 16 stolen plates were never found, and so instead of brass, thanks to the late historian Dr. Đuro Zatezalo, who knew the names of the victims, new ones were made from marble. The initiative for the restoration of this monument, which ended in 2018, came from Tatjana Vujičić Vlačić, who with her friends restored two more anti-fascist monuments in Kordun. At the time, the Serbian National Council (SNV) and the VSNM of Karlovac County also participated in the renovation of this monument.