New memorial center in Zagreb

New memorial center in Zagreb


By Natasa Radic – Zagreb

Jutarnji list daily announced that the Jewish Community in Zagreb is preparing a project of a future memorial center in Praska street 7, the site of a synagogue destroyed in 1942. during the nazi independent Croatian state.

Although the project of construction of the synagogue and a Jewish center has been announced since 1999, when the Republic of Croatia gave back the land in Praska street to the Jewish community, any notice of construction was followed by a fierce dispute between the Jewish community itself – the Jewish Community Zagreb and Beth Israel. Still, in recent weeks, it seems like there has been some serious preparation under way for the construction of the monument.

– All I can say is that the geological research of the land is going on. No one has been officially engaged. Only when you determine the state of the soil, we’ll see what to do next – said the president of the Jewish Community Zagreb, Ognjen Kraus for Jutarnji list.

Asked if he won the support from the City and state, which are expected to help financing the entire project, Kraus said that for now it is an independent project.

The public debate about building synagogue or Jewish center has been joined by many famous members of the Jewish community. So Jakob Bienenfeld said that building of a new synagogue in Zagreb in Praska Street (on the site of the one that was deswtroyed by the Ustasha regime) was a failure.

Vice President of the Jewish Community Vilim Herman says the social, as well as the symbolic level of construction of Jewish cultural and memorial center is necessary.

-Jews live in this area for centuries, they are part of this region, they have shared unfortunate fate of their fellow citizens, but they were the victims of the horrible crimes commited in the past century so it gives a special importance for the cultural and memorial center – concludes Herman.