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IF I FORGET YOU …
The Holocaust in Croatia 1941 – 1945
Final Destination Auschwitz 

(exhibition guide)

The exhibition was organized last year, following the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp. It told the story of the tragic fate of Jews deported from Croatia and killed in the largest Nazi death camp, on the authentic location of the French Pavilion – a temporary detention spot from where they were deported by railway wagons to various concentration camps. 

From 1941 until 1945, in the former territory of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, the Independent State of Croatia (NDH) was established. Croatian Ustashas, a fascist regime dependent on Nazi Germany almost immediately after the creation of NDH adopted the Nuremberg racial laws and began the systematic persecution of Jews, Roma, Serbs, and Croats who opposed fascism.

There were a number of other detention and concentration camps established on the territory of NDH from April 1941 to May 1945. Jasenovac—the largest concentration camp in Europe not run by the Germans—became the central concentration camp and liquidation camp, also known as the Auschwitz of the Balkans. However, in the August of 1942 began the first mass transportation of Jews from the territory of NDH to Auschwitz. 

A project run by the Croatian State Archive is underway since 2017, aiming to create a list of names of the victims who perished at the Auschwitz-Birkenau camps after deportation from the territory of the present-day Republic of Croatia. This work is done as part of the new national exhibition at the State Museum of Auschwitz-Birkenau in Oświęcim.

It is worth mentioning that the exhibition, although cut short due to the March 2020 lockdown, was very well received. The exhibition designers were among contenders for the national design award, having created one of the most memorable exhibitions last year.

IF I FORGET YOU ... : The Holocaust in Croatia 1941 – 1945 Final Destination Auschwitz : French Pavilion, Zagreb February 5 – April 21, 2020
Publisher: Croatian History Museum
Pages: 69
Language: English
ISBN: 978-953-6046-67-6

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