Zagreb - Israel's Ambassador to Croatia Zida Kalay Kleitman on Wednesday, on the occasion of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, presented four Croatians with Righteous Among the Nations medals on behalf of the Yad Vashem memorial centre in Jerusalem.
The medals were awarded to the descendants of Amalia, Emerich and Blaženka Glojnaric as well as Juraj Pavlek for saving the life of a 13-year-old Jewish boy in World War II. Israel announced the posthumous awards in May last year.
- This is an important day for us and me personally, for Yad Vashem and Israel, Ambassador Kleitman said presenting the awards. - Despite the risk to their own lives, the ambassador underscored, those people showed unbelievable humanity and helped that Jewish boy and we say that whoever saves one life, saves the entire world.
Parliament Speaker Reiner said that this "is a moment that at the same time fills us with sadness and joy," because it shows that what happened in the past is still occurring in some parts of the world, but we also have the awareness that people, even "surrounded by evil, have the strength to help others," and these people have "carved themselves in the hearts of the Jewish people and all of mankind."
"Recalling the horrors of the Holocaust is terrible. We saw what also happened in our Homeland War, however, there are people who helped their neighbours regardless of their religion or nation," Reiner said and underscored that it was important to know that "sooner or later, good always wins." "It is important to recognise people who in the darkness represented light and they are the Righteous Among the nations," he said.
There are 113 Croatians on the list of the Righteous Among the Nations in Yad Vashem.