Balkan holocaust anniversary rears more than memories

A striking monument of a huge orchid stands in silent tribute on windswept fields where Balkan victims of the Holocaust fell six decades before.

A mile from the Flower of Remembrance, in the Croatian farming town of Jasenovac, pensioner Marija Maras recalls the day her uncle was thrown in to the concentration camp there.

“He gave food to the prisoners. He thought it was no crime to help people starving in that terrible place,” she explains.

Anyone caught helping those later murdered at Jasenovac – tens of thousands of ethnic Serbs, Jews, Roma and Croat political prisoners – shared in their tragic fate.

Although the town’s memorial museum has been refurbished, on average just three visitors a day make the hour-long journey 50 miles south of Croatia’s capital, Zagreb.