Holocaust Remembrance Events in Opatija and Rijeka
Today at 6:00 p.m. at the Juraj Sporer Art Pavilion in Opatija, an exhibit entitled "The Black Night Whispered (Victims of Fascism and Nazism in Liburnia)," will open, while only 2 hours later the Museum of the City of Rijeka will open two exhibits entitled "Italian Concentration Camps in the Croatian
Littoral from 1941 to 1943" and "The Warsaw Ghetto." Both events are taking place within the scope of the "Days of Remembrance - Days of Warning" project and the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the inmates of Auschwitz. The projects are being co-sponsored by the Association of Anti-Fascist Veterans (UABA) of Rijeka and Opatija and the Eugen Kumicic Opatija Gymnasium as well as Primorje-Goranski County and the cities of Rijeka and Opatija.
In connection with the exhibits, a press conference was held yesterday in the Museum of the City of Rijeka where representatives of the sponsors discussed the project which began seven months ago with the goal to remember the Holocaust and to prevent crimes against humanity.
"Along with the exhibits, a number of related events will take place on this important anniversary, among them a round table on the theme of violence, presentations of the books "The Holocaust in Zagreb" and "The Jews of Rijeka and Opatija," the presentation of a thematic cycle of books published by the Adamic Publishing House in Rijeka, lectures on Nazi "medical" experiments and the camps in Kraljevica and Auschwitz, a thematic evening of films, student debates, and other events," said the head of the project, Oleg Mandic [himself a survivor of Aushwitz - JPK].
The President of the UABA for the city of Rijeka, Dinko Tamurat, added that preparations are under way for a number of events connected with the upcoming anniversary of the liberation of Rijeka from fascism [May 3 - JPK]. Tamurat noted that this project is the only one of its kind in Croatia
. He emphasized both elementary and high schools as well as colleges will participate as the goal is to introduce young people to an issue which has until now been somewhat ignored.
The custos of the Museum of the City of Rijeka and the editor of the book "Italian Concentration Camps in the Croatian
Littoral," Mladen Grguric, stated that the exhibit opening in the Museum will include original documents, photographs and items which evidence the repression and terror carried out by Italian occupational authorities in the area of the Croatian
Littoral and Gorski kotar which had been annexed by Italy. The exhibit concerning the Warsaw Ghetto will feature 16 photographs, secretly taken by a German soldier, Joe Heydecker, which show all of the suffering and anguish which Jews went through in a portion of Warsaw surrounded by a 3 meter high wall. Grguric added that four camps were located in the area of the Croatian
Littoral and Gorski kotar: Lovran, Bakar, Kraljevica and Kampor on Rab Island. The latter was the worst of the four. The greatest crime against civilians in the area committed by the Italians took place in the village of Podhum where on 12 July 1942 Italian troops executed 91 men and boys ranging in age from 15 to 55, while the remaining 889 inhabitants of the village were imprisoned and the village was looted and burned.
Speaking of the Opatija exhibit, professor Tatjana Matetic stated that visitors will be able to learn of these terrible historical events through four authentic individual stories of survivors of the camps as well as films and photographs.