The Serb member of the Presidency of BiH, Milorad Dodik, has said tonight in Banja Luka that the Holocaust and the suffering of Jews in World War II was one of the darkest human and civilizational events, and that it was important that Serbs were part of the Holocaust remembrance force in the world, also remembering the sufferings of their ancestors.

Dodik stressed that one nation and race had unjustifiably believed that it had the right to destroy others, even until the biological disappearance of such a nation as Jews, but also Serbs, Roma and others.

“Thus, this is an ideology of Nazism that has left horrible civilizational scars behind”, Dodik told reporters in Banja Luka ahead of the Holocaust Commemorative Academy and the International Holocaust Remembrance Day at the Arie Livne Jewish Cultural Center.

He said that it was important that Serbs were also a part of the forces in the world that commemorated the Holocaust, and remembered the suffering of their ancestors in the Nazi and other camps such as Jasenovac, but also in numerous execution sites such as Pag, Šušnjar, Brod, Sajmište…

The President of the Republic of Srpska, Željka Cvijanović, has said tonight at the Holocaust Commemorative Academy that it was humanly correct, civilizationally justified and necessary, but also institutional, to develop a culture of remembering the most terrible sufferings.

Addressing those gathered at the Arie Livne Jewish Cultural Center in Banja Luka, Cvijanović said she was proud of the friendship with the Jewish people and that she was sure that one could learn more from that friendship in future, no matter how difficult and intertwined the fate was.

Cvijanović stated that she was pleased that, as the President of the Republic, she had the opportunity to be the patron of this event, emphasizing that the scale of such severe suffering of the people could be understood through what they saw tonight, which had been taught for years, but also to learn a lot from that nation, to learn how important a culture of remembrance was.

Cvijanović said that she was sure that there was no Jewish family that had not received that heavy stamp of the past, as well as that everyone had the opportunity to see how difficult destinies from the period of World War II marked an entire nation from which much could be learned.

Поносна је што у Бањалуци постоји овај културни центар који служи као нека врста подсјетника, а подсјетила је и на испреплетену тужну тешку прошлост која мора све нас да држи буднима да би разумјели да се неке ствари зла прошлости не смију понављати у будућности.

She is proud that there is this cultural center in Banja Luka that serves as a kind of reminder, and she reminded of the intertwined sad past that must keep us all awake to understand that some things of the evil past must not be repeated in the future.

“As a community and a society, we have matured over the years, we have faced difficult challenges, and today we are facing difficult challenges. I think that these are things that, when needed, only deepen our love, attention, faith in ourselves, and give us a certain strength to overcome these problems and build something that is the future and our faith in the future”, said Cvijanović.

“It managed to join the ranks of those peoples who had shown incredible tenacity, but also to show the whole world what all this could be learned and how persistent we could be”, Cvijanović emphasized.

She stated that it encouraged them to gather in Banja Luka, perhaps in a modest way, and pay tribute to all the victims, those who after such horrors worked hard to rebuild the nation, state and to take into account what national interests were.

She thanked those who gathered to join everyone who knew that they should always remember those who were victims, not to forget the horrors that brought such a nation to such a terrible temptation and suffering, but also to get certain lessons out of it.

The President of the Association of Serbian-Jewish Friendship of Banja Luka, Zoran Pejašinović, said that on the occasion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the city on the Vrbas River remembered six million innocent Jews who were killed during the Second World War.

“Soon we will remember the suffering of Serbs in the vicinity of Banja Luka”. Peoples who remember have a future and that is why we must remember. The memory must be nurtured”, said Pejašinović.

The Holocaust Commemorative Academy has been held tonight in Banja Luka in the Arie Livne Jewish Cultural Center under the auspices of the Office of the President of the Republic of Srpska.

Memories of the late Arie Livne, former President of the Jewish Cultural Center and longtime Special Representative and Head of the Republic of Srpska Economic Representation in Israel, were also evoked at this gathering.

The event, organized by the Association of Serbian-Jewish Friendship of Banja Luka, was attended by the President of Srpska, Željka Cvijanović, ministers in the Government of Srpska, the Acting Director of the Republic Secretariat for Religions, Dragan Davidović, and numerous important people from public and social life of Srpska and Banja Luka.