Dear guests, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

This is my honour and pleasure to greet you on behalf of the Jewish Community of Banja Luka that you with your arrival magnified this solemn meeting, which is of a special importance for all the members of the Jewish people of ex-Yugoslavia.

The reason for our gathering is promotion of the book – “Memoirs on the Holocaust of the Bosnian Krajina Jews” published by the Jewish Community of Banja Luka, what after 67 years of the Holocaust gives the most complete retrospective memory of the black days of sufferings the Jewish people in Bosanska Krajina and all the Jewish families from all over the ex – Yugoslavia area, who had the unfortunate fate to found themselves there and died in one of 28 NDH concentration camps.”

Memoirs on the Holocaust of the Bosnian Krajina Jews “are also a response which confirmed that the Jewish identity existed in this region in past 5 centuries. It is written on the basis of available documents of the Republic of Srpska Archives and from Bosnian Krajina towns, evaluable court documents, written documents and the testimony of the survived camp inmates, what means that it is based on true facts.

Through numerous authentic documents and testimonies of the survived inmates and victims of the fascist terror expressed in images and words, the Book gave a specific view of life and work of the Bosnian Krajina JC – from Banja Luka, over Biha? , Sanski Most, Prijedor, Derventa, Brod on Sava and Doboj before WWII including numerical status, type of occupation, the formation of Keilas in the Jewish Communities as a form of self-organized interest communities for the Jewish people in one narrow area of the territory or city, the construction of a synagogues and establishment of Meldars – the Jewish elementary schools in the synagogues, the construction and maintenance of the cemeteries, celebration of the historic Jewish holidays – Pasha, Purim Rosh ha – Shana, Yom Kippur, Shavuot, Sukkoth and Hanukah, and weekly Shabbat Shalom, respect of kasrut–kosher food, as a part of generational transmission of the Jewish tradition, symbols of Judaism, then the view in the black days of the Holocaust the Bosnian Krajina Jews, where over 85% of pre-war membership of the Bosnian Krajina JC perished in war whirlwind and finally review of the status the Jewish Community of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which today has barely 1 200 members of secular Judaism. Of 14 000 pre-war members of the Jewish community of Bosnia and Herzegovina perished 75% or 10 500, and in the comparison with current situation, a final conclusion is that remained 8, 6% of pre-war numbers in ex – Yugoslavia.

This publication “Memoirs on the Holocaust of the Bosnian Krajina Jews” is practically a particular challenge of a time when the forces of evil seek with the power of the hatred and contempt to ruin all the historical facts about the Holocaust of Jews, for which we would personally be happy and delighted that has never happened, let alone existed. But unfortunately it existed.

To remember and never forget open wounds which even after 67 years of the Holocaust still ache and hurt, for the loss of lives the loved and dearest ones. Global erosion of morality, justice and democracy with expressed fight for resources is becoming the right of the strongest, leading to distortion of historical facts on the existence of the Holocaust, where new anti – Semitism sees its chance, by a total denial of the same. Therefore, we can freely say that any denial of the Holocaust in ethical terms is unacceptable and that new anti-Semitism now is nothing else but a preparation for possible new “crime against humanity“.

We appeal that to all present and future generations in Republic of Srpska and Bosnia and Herzegovina, as it exists throughout the world, appropriate teaching-educational approach in schools create a generational need for marking of the Holocaust as a unique remembrance day on the innocent victims of impudent crime with a desire that such a bloody sufferings never happen and repeat again in the future history of the mankind.

President of Jewish comm Banja Luka
Danon Dr. Jakob