Restaurant Honours Mass Murderer
Sunday Herald Sun
April 13, 2008
The plush Katarina Zrinski restaurant attached to Footscray's Croatian Club has been branded "disgusting" for its celebration of genocidal World War II Croatian leader Ante Pavelic.
Pavelic, who historians say was responsible for the deaths of up to 500,000 Jews, Serbs, Muslims and gypsies, has been described as the Heinrich Himmler of the Croatian nation.
The popular restaurant during the week displayed a big portrait of Pavelic on its wall and T-shirts depicting Pavelic for sale at the bar.
The T-shirts also showed two commanders of the Ustashe's notorious Black Legion, which murdered thousands of civilians and Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac, who was jailed for collaborating with the Ustashe.
Drinkers at the bar were also toasting "The Poglavnik" - the name fascists use for their Fuhrer - and on Thursday the restaurant commemorated Hitler's establishment of the puppet state of Croatia on April 10, 1941.
On Tuesday the restaurant was reviewed in a Melbourne newspaper's food section, with its
Dr Bob Miller, a Balkans expert at the Australian National University, has hit out at the club's feting of Pavelic.
Serbians in Victoria have also expressed their distress.
"How can they do this?" George Marinkovic, publisher of the Serb Voice, said.
Dr Colin Rubinstein, executive director of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, said:
Club president Tony Juric acknowledged the restaurant honoured Pavelic, but said the leader had nothing to do with the Nazis.
"What the Nazis did was a disgrace and we had nothing to do with that," he said. "I have never received one letter of complaint from a Jewish or a Serb organisation."