World War 2 Stories for Sheffield


The Ustasha Movement of Croatia 

From Wikipedia


CROATIAN NAZIS THE WORST MONSTERS THE WORLD HAD KNOWN

They outdid German Nazi and Italian fascists


The Ustaša - Croatian Revolutionary Movement (Croatian: Ustaša - Hrvatski Revolucionarni Pokret, members known collectively as Ustaše, but sometimes anglicised as Ustashe, Ustashas or Ustashi) was a Croatian fascist anti-Yugoslav separatist movement. The ideology of the movement was a blend of fascism, Nazism, Croatian ultra nationalism, and Roman Catholic Clericalist Fundamentalism. The Ustaše supported the creation of a Greater Croatia that would span to the River Drina and to the border of Belgrade.The movement emphasized the need for a racially "pure" Croatia and promoted persecution and genocide against Serbs, Jews and Roma people.

The movement functioned as a terrorist organization before World War II, but in April 1941, they were appointed to rule a part of Axis-occupied Yugoslavia as the Independent State of Croatia, a puppet statemof Nazi Germany. The Ustaše were chiefly responsible for the WWII holocaust in occupied Yugoslavia. An unknown number of people, hundreds of thousands by most estimates, were killed by the collaborationist Ustaše government's racial policies, which condemned all Serbs, Jews, and Roma to death in the concentration camps, alongside Croat resistance members and political opponents.

When it was founded in 1929, the Ustaše was a nationalist organization that sought to create an independent Croatian state. When the Ustaše came to power in the Independent State of Croatia, a state established by Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany during World War II, its military wing became the Ustaše Army (Ustaška Vojnica). The movement collaborated with the German occupation forces in Yugoslavia in fighting an increasingly unsuccessful campaign against the resistance forces, the Yugoslav Partisans, who were recognized in 1943 as the military of the Allied Yugoslav state. As German forces withdrew from Yugoslavia in 1945, the Ustaše were defeated, expelled, and eventually destroyed by the Yugoslav forces (the Partisans).

Their name derives from the verb ustati which means "to rise up," hence ustaša would mean an insurgent, or a rebel. This name did not have fascist connotations during their early years in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia as the term "ustat" was itself used in Herzegovina to denote the insurgents from the Herzegovinian rebellion of 1875. "Pučki-Ustaša" was a military rank in the Imperial Croatian Home Guard (1868–1918). The full original name of the organization appeared in April 1931 as the Ustaša - Hrvatska revolucionarna organizacija or UHRO (Ustaša - Croatian revolutionary organization), though in 1933 it was renamed the Ustaša - Hrvatski revolucionarni pokret (Ustaša - Croatian revolutionary movement) which it kept until the Second World War.

In the history of the mankind it is difficult to find monsters comparable to Ustashe, homegrown Croatian fascists. It was only fifty years ago. Bosnian mountains as well as mountains of Serbian Krajina are still echoing the shrieks of hundreds of thousands of innocent victims. They were slaughtered in the most gruesome ways just because they were Serbs, Jews or Gypsies.

While, for many years during the war, the apocalyptic suffering of the Jewish people was in a realm of rumor - the slaughter of Serbs in Croatia was on such a scale that it was impossible to hide.

As Professor Dr. Edmond Paris says in the very first few sentences of the introduction of his book "Genocide in Satellite Croatia" (published by The American Institute for Balkan Affairs in 1961):

Quote:

The greatest genocide during World War II, in proportion to a nation's population, took place, not in Nazi Germany but in the Nazi-created puppet state of Croatia. There in the years 1941-1945, some 750,000 Serbs, 60,000 Jews and 26,000 Gypsies - men, women and children - perished in a gigantic holocaust...

...The magnitude and the bestial nature of these atrocities makes it difficult to believe that such a thing could have happened in an allegedly civilized part of the world.


The enormity of the crime itself must be the explanation of the fact that American public knew as early as 1942, about the Croatian slaughter of the Serbs... In the text below, the author mentions some 300,000 Serbs slaughtered. It is a staggering figure having in mind that it was mentioned in 1942 - only a year after Ustashe took power (in what is today Croatia and Bosnia)!

The reference to the shocking truth, so easily, and so purposely avoided in the daily media, can be easily find in any major source of knowledge.

For decades Encyclopedia Britannica had the following sentence when talking about WWII in Yugoslavia:
"...IN BOSNIA... THE CROATIAN FASCISTS BEGAN A MASSACRE OF SERBS WHICH, IN THE WHOLE ANNALS OF WORLD WAR II, WAS SURPASSED FOR SAVAGERY ONLY BY THE MASS EXTERMINATION OF POLISH JEWS".

One can find this sentence in the versions of Britannica from 1971 to 1986.

Encyclopedia of the Holocaust which, by default full of gore galore, still reserves the harshest words for the Ustashe. Talking about the slaughter of Serbs it says (Vol 1, Croatia, page 323):

Quote:

The Ustasa regime in Croatia and particularly this drive... to exterminate and dispossess the Serbs, was one of the most horrendous episodes of World War II. The murder methods applied by Ustasha were extraordinarily primitive and sadistic: thousands were hurled from mountain tops, others were beaten to death or had their throats cut, entire villages were burned down, women raped, people sent on death marches in the middle of winter, and still others starved to death...

End quote

But, let us, for a second, leave the Jewish authors who were trying so hard to describe the horror. Let us look at an unlikely group of shocked spectators:

(Worldmark Encyclopedia of Nations, Edition 1995, Europe, Croatia, page 91)
Quote:

The enormity of [Ustasha] behavior shocked even the conscience of GERMAN COMMANDERS.

(End quote).

Though it looks entirely unbelievable that German Nazi (and Italian Fascists) were shocked - there are many books, their memoirs, where they just had to talk about their Croatian allies’ gruesomeness.

"It all may be so, and it is shocking that this aspect of the current conflict in Bosnia and Croatia is not even mentioned in the Western press" (the press that claims to uphold high principles of democracy) - you can say. "But, who cares? That is history!” (In the American English the word "history" is only used in, relatively frequent, crime scenes on TV, when someone is just about to shoot someone. The sentence repeated in the occasion is: "You are history!").

The problem with history (whether you like the subject or not) is that it tends to repeat itself. Today's Independent State of Croatia is the copy of the Nazi puppet state of some fifty years ago. The country has the same: name, flag, national emblem, national anthem, currency, uniforms (black shirts). The state sponsored atrocities toward Serbian civilians (in the areas of Croatia where Serbs were not majority and thus could not defend themselves) is the same.

Encyclopaedia Britannica, Edition 1943, Vol 23, page 923 (Yugoslavia and war) describes the flag of the Croatian Ustashe: "The new flag of Croatia consists of three broad stripes, red, white and blue, and superimposed upon them a shield of chequered red and white squares".

Open then any new book that shows the international flags (or stroll in front of the United Nations and check the flags there) and you will easily recognize the Ustasha flag of the Nazi time.

Why are then the Serbs, the survivors of the gruesome genocide, defending their houses, their own property, THEIR RIGHT TO EXIST, on the land where they were (AND ARE) majority population for last (minimum) FIVE centuries - repeatedly called (by the "democratic" press) aggressors!?

For anyone who cares about Democracy - should ask that question. Could it be because Nazi, by tens of thousands, were, with help and with knowledge of American institutions found its safe haven right here - in America? They were proclaimed to be "freedom fighters" and got top jobs in institutions like CIA. (You should read the recent book: "Unholy Trinity" by Mark Aarons and John Loftus St. Martin's Press, 370 pages, ISBN 0-312-07111-6. It gives a detailed and well documented description of the connection between Croatian clergy and Nazis of the world. The clergy played the key role in infamous ratlines - the channel of smuggling Nazis out of Europe. Needles to say ALL Croatian fascists, ALL IMPORTANT USTASHE escaped justice. And they, and their offspring, are quite active in today’s events).

 


PAVELIC ANTE (pa've-lich an'te)

 

CURRENT BIOGRAPHY, Who's News and Why, 1942
Editor Maxine Block.
Published by: H.W. Wilson Company,
New York, N.Y. 1942 QUOTE: Pages 651, 652 and 653.

PAVELIC ANTE (pa've-lich an'te)
May 19, 1869
Leader of the Croat state

Address: Zagreb, Croatia

The Serbian guerrilla organization led by General Draja Mikhailovitch at one time issued a list of people destined for death by assassination. First on their list was Dr. Ante Pavelic. Pavelic's name also heads two other lists: that of Hitler's foreign friends and that of outstanding traitors of their coun- tries, the so-called Quislings.

[...]

Born in Gospic (in what today is Yugo- slavia) on May 19, 1869, the son of Lovro Pavelic, a merchant, Ante studied medicine and received his M. D...

...In 1906 he served in the popu- lation department of Sabor and at the same time started his political career as president of the Croatian Conservative Party. After Yugoslavia was united he became vice-presi- dent of the Narodno Vijece (people's council) and then president of the Democratic Party in Zagreb.

In January 1932 Pavelic was elected president of the Senate of the Yugoslavian kingdom and of the Yugoslavian-Czechoslovakian League. It has never been determined what part he played in the assassination of King Alexander I of Yugoslavia and French Foreign Minister Louis Batthou in March 1934 at Marseilles, but it is certain that he had a hand in it and it is generally assumed that he acted in the interests of Mussolini. Evading justice, Ante Favelic fled to Italy, which sheltered him for seven years and refused to expel him for a French trial. In absentia, though, he was sentenced to death.

During the next few years Dr. Pavelic vanished from the news only to reappear the more conspicuously as the "dark treacherous terrorist" who helped invading Nazis in 1941 to carve up Yugoslavia. It was he who, in April that same year, directed the Croat evolution of the Ustashe (rebels), "a band of rapacious Croatian schemers who hated Serbs, Jews, and Croatia's own peasants for years and platted with Italian, Hungarian, and Ger- man money to split Yugoslavia and bring the Ustashe to power." And it was this revolu- tion that exposed the Yugoslavian Army's flank and rear and led to Yugoslavia's defeat.

With the help of his friend, General Sladko Kvaternik, Pavelic proclaimed Croatia an independent state on April 15, 1941. Dispatches from Nazi-controlled Hungary described him as President and Kvaternik as his Premier. The new state was composed of Bosnia, Herzegovina and Dalmatia as well as the old Croat province. In a note to Mussolini and Hitler, Pavelic asked for recognition of "the independent state of Croatia." Both dictators informed the Croat leader that in the name of the Axis powers the recognition sought not only was cheerfully granted but that both powers received "with joy and satisfaction" the news that the Croat people had won their struggle for independence in an hour when the Axis powers had demolished the artificial creation which once was Yugoslavia.

One of Dr. Pavelic's first acts was the baning of all political parties and the prohibition of all public meetings. To pay his debt of gratitude to Italy, the self-styled chief of the Croat national government convinced his followers that a king of Croatia, preferably an Italian prince, would lead the little state to new heights. The last monarch to wear the crown -- golden clover leaves surmounted by a cross and an apple -- had been Croatia's King Petrus, who died in battle in 1097. Since then the state had always been under foreign domination, most of the time Hungarian. On May 17 Pavelic went to Rome to formalize the offer of the throne.

The kingdom was offered to Aimone, Duke of Spoleto, married to Irene, Princess of Greece, and cousin of King Victor Emmanuel of Italy. In a ten-minute ceremony, blessed by Victor Emmanuel and Benito Mussolini, Duke Aimone was presented with the Zvoni- mir crown. (The crown was named for De- metrius Zvonimir, crowned by a papal legate in Split in 1076. Thirteen years later the Croats killed him because they thought he had sold out to Rome.)

In order that the new king might not feel deprived of an official ceremony, Dr. Pavelic ordered the building of a new cathedral in Banjaluka. Zagreb, the old capital, had been abandoned in favor of Banjaluka because of the latter's more central location in the newly created state. Mussolini was pleased by all this, and, believing that the new kingdom would be an Italian puppet, agreed to the inclusion of Dalmatia in Croatia. He was unaware that four days before Pavelic's offer to the King he had concluded an agreement with the Nazis. The Italian press was full of articles about the forthcoming coronation in southern Bosnia, full of Italy's great political triumph. But when Italian commercial delegates arrived in Zagreb early in June they found there were no Croatian exports to negotiate about -- on May 30 a commercial agreement between Germany and Croatia had been signed. Finally Count Ciano received a note from the German envoy in Zagreb suggesting he coronation be postponed until after the War. In a rage, Mussolini threatened to occupy Dalmatia by force.

On June 6, 1941 Pavelic was received by Hitler in Berchtesgaden for a two-hour conference.

Witnesses at the meeting were Marshal Hermann Goring and Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop. The talk was one of a series of several carefully guarded diplomatic negotiations between Axis and Balkan leaders. The topic of the conversation was never disclosed, but it was believed that Pavelic asked for a guarantee of independence and was promised that Italy would do nothing drastic. Afterward Pavelic presented the Fuhrer with a flag from the Seven Years' War and a chess set, both formerly belonging to King Frederic the Great.

Barely returned from Germany, Dr. Pavelic, went to Venice for the induction of Croatia into the Rome-Berlin-Tokyo military alliance. On June 15 he put his signature to a protocol giving his country the right to be represented at any tripartite discussion which might affect Croatia. Replying to Count Ciano's ad- dress of welcome, Pavelic was quoted as saying: "Croatia gives its full adherence to the principles and reasons which inspire a united front for creation of a new order in the European and Asiatic World. Croatia's induction into the military alliance of the Axis powers had immediate effect on its Jewish problem." Dr. Ante Pavelic announced that it would be solved "in a radical way un der the German order." Also ordered by Hitler to put a "river of blood" between the Serbian and Croatian nations, Pavelic did so by carrying out the slaughter of some 300,000 Serbs living in Croatia and the destruction of scores of their communities.

In August 1941, when the Nazi armies were fully engaged in Russia, Mussolini shipped two divisions to Dalmatia and occupied it, saying that he had to protect the shores of Italy's domestic sea from guerrillas. He then bom- barded Hitler with notes demanding the par- tition of Croatia...

...Ante Pavelic, "a movie producer's dream of a Balkan terrorist, is a short, blocky, grim,unsmiling man, with a knobby face and insulting eye." He has three children who live with their mother and who have spent most of their lives in secret hiding places, while their father was "out hunting kings or conspiring in cellars or dodging gendarmes.".

References:
Lit Digest 120:12 N 30 `35 por

N Y Times p6 My 14 `41

 
Newsweek 17:25 My 26 `41; 19:41 My 4 '42 por


Who's Who in Central - and East-Europe 1937.

 

 

 

Dinko Sakij 

He was born in Studenci, in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes in 1921.

He commaanded the Jasenovac concentration camp at one time. After the defeat of the Axis forces, he emigrated to Argentina.

Having been tracked down by the Nazi hunter Efraim Zuroff, the District Attorney in Zagreb brought charges against Šakić on April 20, 1998 for war crimes during World War II when he was the chief of the Jasenovac concentration camp.

Dinko Sakic was a part of the panel of the "mobile martial-court" that committed investigations under means of torture at Jasenovac. Sakic took part in the torture of Remzija Rebac, who led, along with Dr. Milan Boskovic, a group of 20 internees that organized an uprising and stole corn. Rebac was tortured with a flamethrower. Sakic ordered the group executed by hanging during a camp "public performance" (general muster) on September 21, 1944. Primorac Silvestar asked one of the inmates, Hadzija, whether he forgave him. Hadzija said he never will, and Silvestar answered: "until we meet again in the other world". Dr. Milan Boskovic asked to be shot in the head, facing his death, instead of being hanged. Sakic also ordered the hanging of Dr. Marin Jurcev, the manager of the Ustase hospital, which aided a defected Ustase to smuggle information of Jasenovac to the partisans, his wife and three internees held in the village of Jasenovac were hung. Mrs. Jurcev had to be pulled to the scaffold by her hair since she fell off three times. Sakic set and watched the hanged bodies with interior minister of the NDH, Andrija Artukovic. Food quality became worse after these executions.


Sakic also ordered the reprisal against inmates in June 1944, in light of the escape of Ivan Wollner, who played the orchestra for the red-cross delegation, and feared for his life. He then fled (or, alternatively, taken by the Ustase) to Dubica, where the Ustase garrison caught him and beat him to death. After the retrieval of his body to the camp, a muster of the Jewish inmates was held in front of a machine-gun, during which 100 Jews, who lived in the same barracks with Wollner or played in the orchestra with him, were selected. By utilizing a record called "the directory", Sakic himself selected 25 inmates to be taken to the "Zvonara", where they were put in solitary, starved and tortured.

Šakić was extradited from Argentina, found guilty by a Croatian court and sentenced to 20 years in prison, which was the maximum penalty under Croatian law at the time. On July 20, 2008, Dinko Sakić died in hospital at the Remetinec prison in Novi Zagreb at the age of 86. He was buried at Zagreb crematory on July 25, 2008. His funeral was attended by some Croatian right wing politicians (i.e. Anto Kovačević) . Simon Wiesenthal Center director Efraim Zuroff complained to the Croatian president Stjepan Mesić about Šakić's funeral. At that funeral, Croatian Dominican priest pater Vjekoslav Lasić held a speech in which he said that "the court that indicted Dinko Šakić indicted Croatia and Croatians", and that "every Croat should be proud of Šakić's name". He also claimed that Independent state of Croatia (NDH) formed a ground for establishing modern state of Croatia.

From The Independant 24th July 2008

Dinko Sakic was only 22 years old when, in 1944, he was appointed commander of Jasenovac, the most notorious of the wartime concentration camps established by Croatia's pro-Nazi ruling party, the Ustashe. Although thousands of inmates were killed during his brief tenure in charge of the camp, Sakic appeared destined to evade justice once he escaped – along with many other war criminals – to Argentina after the war. There he lived in comparative obscurity for over 50 years, until he appeared in a television interview in which he admitted the role he had played at Jasenovac, while denying that any atrocities had been committed at the camp.

Sakic was subsequently extradited to Zagreb where his trial became an important test of the willingness of Croatia's nationalist authorities to come to terms with the legacy of their country's past. His conviction and sentencing to the maximum 20 years in prison in 1999 was a clear signal that President Franjo Tudjman's administration, which had earlier sought to rehabilitate some aspects of Croatia's wartime regime, was now prepared to distance itself very clearly from that earlier attempt to bring about Croatia's independence from Yugoslavia. During his years in prison, Sakic was believed to be the last living commander of a Second World War concentration camp.


Dinko Sakic was born in 1921 and became a committed member of the nationalist organisation Ustasha from a very young age. Following the German-led invasion of Yugoslavia in April 1941, the new Independent State of Croatia (NDH), established under Third Reich and Italian tutelage, set up detention facilities for Serbs, Jews, Roma and anti-fascist Croats. The Ustasha regime of the Poglavnik, or leader, Ante Pavelic, was determined to eliminate minority groups and political opponents – in the case of the Serbs, by expulsions, killings and forcible conversions to Roman Catholicism.

Sakic joined the concentration camp administration in 1941. A year later he was appointed as an assistant commandant of Jasenovac, south-east of Zagreb, the biggest of the 20-odd camps set up by the Ustasha regime. Just two years later, in April 1944, he was promoted to the post of camp commandant. Sakic's rapid rise in the hierarchy was due only in part to his enthusiastic and loyal support for Pavelic's policies. In 1943 he married Nada Luburic, the half-sister of Vjekoslav (Maks) Luburic, a veteran Ustasha official, who had been instrumental in first creating and then overseeing Croatia's network of concentration camps.

As commandant of Jasenovac, Sakic was not merely a bureaucrat. He personally took part in the killing and torture of some of the inmates. Among the crimes attributed to him – for which he was to be condemned more than half a century later – he shot dead a prisoner accused of having stolen a corn on the cob and killed in a similar way two Jewish internees after another inmate had escaped from the camp. During the six months he was in charge of Jasenovac, at least 2,000 prisoners were killed; many others died of disease or malnutrition.

With the end of the Second World War – which led to the restoration of Yugoslavia under Marshal Tito's Communist regime – Sakic joined Pavelic, and many other Ustasha figures who escaped to Argentina. President Juan Perón's populist regime provided a safe haven for many war criminals, including Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi official in charge of deporting Jews to German-run concentration camps, who was later to be abducted from Argentina by Israeli agents.

Sakic led a relatively quiet life, running a textile factory and engaging in Ustasha émigré politics. He was largely forgotten and already living in quiet retirement when he unintentionally catapulted himself into the limelight in an Argentinian television interview, shown in April 1998, by admitting that he had been a commandant at Jasenovac.

The Sakic case posed a dilemma for President Tudjman's nationalist administration which had led Croatia to independence in 1991. Tudjman had courted the Croatian émigré community, including the far right, in a bid to strengthen national unity during the war of independence from Yugoslavia and the conflict with Croatia's separatist Serbs which lasted until 1995. In his historical writings in the 1980s he had already sought to play down the number of victims at Jasenovac; and as president in the mid-1990s, he had provoked outrage by proposing that the Ustasha victims of post-war retribution by the Communists should be buried alongside those whom the Ustashe had killed at Jasenovac, as a gesture of national reconciliation.

On the other hand, with Croatia's war and the intense phase of nationalism associated with it now over, Tudjman was eager to demonstrate the country's pro-Western, democratic credentials in the hope of securing eventual accession to the European Union and better relations with the United States. So Sakic was extradited from Argentina and put on trial in Zagreb in 1999. More than 30 witnesses provided evidence against the defendant, who nevertheless protested his innocence, claiming that "no harm was done" to the inmates.

By finding Sakic guilty and giving him the maximum prison term of 20 years allowed under Croatian law, the court helped Croatia take a significant step forward in demonstrating the rule of law, irrespective of any ethnic considerations. It also contributed to the important process of reconciliation with Croatia's Serbian and Jewish communities.

Sakic, troubled by heart disease, spent the last decade of his life in prison, with long stays in hospital. Shortly before his trial, the case against his wife, a guard at the Stara Gradiska camp for women, was dropped for lack of evidence.

Gabriel Partos

 

Jasenovac concentration camp (Croatian, Serbian: Logor Jasenovac; Serbian Cyrillic: Логор Јасеновац. Yiddish: יאסענאוואץ, Hebrew: יסנובץ) was the largest extermination camp in the Independent State of Croatia (NDH) and occupied Yugoslavia during World War II. The camp was established by the Ustaše (Ustasha) regime in August 1941 and dismantled in April 1945. In Jasenovac, the largest number of victims were ethnic Serbs, whom Ante Pavelić considered the main opponents of the NDH. The camp also held Jews and Roma.

Jasenovac was a complex of five subcamps spread over 240 km2 (93 sq mi) on the banks of the Sava River. The largest camp was at Jasenovac, about 100 km (62 mi) southeast of Zagreb. The complex also included large grounds at Donja Gradina directly across the Sava River, a camp for children in Sisak to the northwest, and a women's camp in Stara Gradiška to the southeast.

Creation and operation of Jasenovac concentration camp

The Jasenovac complex was built between August 1941 and February 1942. The first two camps, Krapje and Bročica, were closed in November 1941.

The three newer camps continued to function until the end of the war:

  • Ciglana (Jasenovac III)
  • Kozara (Jasenovac IV)
  • Stara Gradiška (Jasenovac V)

 

 

Ustase militia executing people over a mass grave near Jasenovac concentration camp

The camp was constructed, managed and supervised by Department III of the Ustaška Narodna Služba or UNS (lit. "Ustaše People's Service"), a special police force of the NDH]. Vjekoslav "Maks" Luburić was head of the UNS. Individuals managing the camp at different times included Miroslav Majstorović and Dinko Šakić. The camp administration in times used other Ustase battalions, police units, domobrani units, auxiliary units made up of Muslims, and even the aid of German and Hungarian Nazis.

The Ustaše interned, tortured and executed men, women and children in Jasenovac. The largest number of victims were Serbs, but other victims included Jews, Romani people, and Croatian resistance members opposed to the regime (i.e., Partisans or their sympathizers, categorized by the Ustaše as "communists"). Upon arrival at the camp, the prisoners were marked with colours, similar to the use of Nazi concentration camp badges: blue for Serbs, and red for communists (non-Serbian resistance members), while Roma had no marks. (This practice was later abandoned.) Most victims were killed at execution sites near the camp: Granik, Gradina, and other places. Those kept alive were mostly skilled at needed professions and trades (doctors, pharmacists, electricians, shoemakers, goldsmiths, and so on) and were employed in services and workshops at Jasenovac.

The population of inmates in Jasenovac

Serbs

Serbs constituted the majority of inmates in Jasenovac. In several instances, inmates were immediately killed for confessing their Serbian ethnicity and most considered it to be the reason for their imprisonment. The Serbs were predominantly brought from the Kozara region, where the Ustasa captured areas along with partisan guerrillas. These were brought to camp without sentence, almost destined to immediate liquidation, accelerated via use of a machine-gun. Estimated deaths of Serb inmates range between 26,000 to over 700,000 depending on sources. The Jewish virtual library estimates the number of Serbs killed by the Ustaša between 330,000 and 390,000, with 45,000 to 52,000 Serbs murdered in Jasenovac. Jasenovac is the largest extermination camp in the Balkans and among the largest in Europe. The camp alone accounts for about 10% of the total number of killed persons in wartime Yugoslavia. Another researcher, Bogoljub Kocevic, estimates roughly 1,000,000 victims in entire Yugoslavia, one half of whom (mostly ethnic Serbs) were killed in wartime Croatia. This researcher seems to support the Tomislav Dulic in terms of the size of Jasenovac camp. The victim list as of January 2007 was composed of 70,000 names. The list is however subject to a constant update and has been expanding for since 2007.

Jews

 

A report on the deportation of Travnik area Jews to Jasenovac and Stara Gradiška camps, March 1942

Jews, being the primary target of Nazi-oriented Genocide, were the second-largest category of victims of Jasenovac. The number of Jewish casualties is uncertain, but ranges from about 8,000 up to 25,000. Most of the executions of Jews at Jasenovac occurred prior to August 1942. Thereafter, the NDH] started to deport them to Auschwitz. In general, Jews were initially sent to Jasenovac from all parts of Croatia after being gathered in Zagreb, and from Bosnia and Herzegovina after being gathered in Sarajevo. Some, however, were transported directly to Jasenovac from other cities and smaller towns.

Roma

Roma in Jasenovac consisted of both Roma and Sinti, who were captured in various areas in Bosnia, especially in the Kozara region. They were brought to Jasenovac and taken to area III-C, under the open sky, in terms of nutrition, hydration, shelter and sanitary that were below the camp's standards. The figures of murdered Roma are the most controversial, save figures of Serbian casualties, and they range between 20,000 and 50,000.

Croatian anti-fascists

Anti-fascists consisted of various sorts of political and ideological antagonists of the Ustasa. In general, their treatment was similar to other inmates, although known communists were executed right away, and convicted Ustasa or law-enforcement officials, or others close to the Ustasa in opinion, such as Croatian peasants, were held on beneficial terms and granted amnesty after serving a duration of time.

Various

The Ustasa also imprisoned various sorts of other ethnicities: Ukrainians, Romanians,Slovenes and Montenegrians.

Living conditions

The living conditions in the camp evidenced the severity typical in Nazi death camps: a meager diet, deplorable accommodations, and cruel behavior by the Ustaše guards. Also, as in many camps, conditions would be improved temporarily during visits by delegations – such as the press delegation that visited in February 1942 and a Red Cross delegation in June 1944 – and reverted after the delegation left.

  • Food: Again, typical of Nazi death camps, the diet of inmates at Jasenovac was insufficient to sustain life: The sorts of food they consumed changed during the camp's existence. In camp Brocice, inmates were given a "soup" made of hot water with starch for breakfast, and beans for lunch and dinner (served at 6:00, 12:00 and 21:00).  Food in Camp No. III was initially better, consisting of potatoes instead of beans; however, in January, the diet was changed to a single daily serving of thin "turnip soup". By the end of the year, the diet had been changed again, to three daily portions of thin gruel made of water and starch. Food changed repeatedly thereafter.

  • Water: Jasenovac was even more severe than most death camps in one respect: a general lack of potable water. Prisoners were forced to drink water from the Sava river, which was contaminated with ren (horseradish).

  • Accommodations: In the first camps, Brocice and Krapje, inmates slept in standard concentration-camp barracks, with three tiers of bunks. In Camp No. III, which housed some 3,000 inmates, inmates initially slept in the attics of the workshops, in an open depot designated as a railway "tunnel", or simply in the open. A short time later, eight barracks were erected. Inmates slept in six of these barracks, while the other two were used as a "clinic" and a "hospital", where ill inmates were concentrated to die or be liquidated.

  • Forced labour: As in all concentration camps, Jasenovac inmates were forced daily to perform some 11 hours of hard labor, under the eye of the Ustasa captors, who would execute any inmate for the most trivial reasons, allegedly for "sabotaging labor"..The labor section was overseen by Ustasas Hinko Dominik Picilli and Tihomir Kordic. Picillii would personally lash inmates to work harder. He divided the "Jasenovac labor force" into 16 groups, including groups of construction, brickworks, metal-works, agriculture, etc. The inmates would perish from the hard work. Work in the brickworks was hard. Blacksmith work was also done, as the inmates forged knives and other weapons for the Ustasa. Dike construction work was most feared.

  • Sanitation: Inside the camp, squalor and lack of sanitation reigned: clutter, blood, vomit and bodies filled the barracks, which were also full of pests and of the foul scent of the often overflowing latrine bucket. Due to exposure to the elements, inmates suffered from impaired health leading to epidemics of typhus, typhoid, malaria, pleuritis, influenza, dysentery and diphtheria. During pauses in labour (5:00-6:00; 12:00-13:00, 17:00-20:00)inmates had to relieve themselves at open latrines, which consisted of big pits dug in open fields, covered in planks. Inmates would tend to fall inside, and often died. The Ustase encouraged this by either having internees separate the planks, or by physically drowning inmates inside. The pit would overflow during floods and rains, and was also drained into the lake, from which inmate drinking water was taken. The inmate's rags and blankets were too thin to prevent exposure to frost, as was the shelter of the barracks. The clothes and blankets were rarely and poorly cleansed, as inmates were only allowed to wash them briefly in the lake's waters once a month save during winter time, when the lake froze. Then, a sanitation device was erected in a warehouse, where a few clothes were insufficiently boiled.

  • Lack of personal possessions: The inmates were stripped of their belongings and personal attire. As inmates, only ragged prison-issue clothing was given to them. In winter, inmates were given thin "rain-coats" and they were allowed to make light sandals. Inmates were given a personal food bowl, designated to contain 0.4ltrs of "soup" they were fed with. Inmates whose bowl was missing (stolen by another inmate to defecate in) would receive no food. During delegation visits, inmates were given bowls twice as large with spoons. Additionally, at such times, inmates were given coloured tags.
  • Anxiety: The fear of death, and the paradox of a situation in which the living dwell next to the dead, had great impact on the internees. Basically, an inmate's life in a concentration camp can be viewed in the optimal way when looking at it in three stages: arrival to camp, living inside it, and the release. The first stage consisted of the shock caused by the hardships in transit to camp. The Ustase would fuel this shock by murdering a number of inmates on arrival and by temporarily housing new-arrivals in warehouses, attics, in the train tunnel and outdoors. After the inmates grew familiar with the life in camp, they would enter the second and most critical phase: living through the anguish of death, and the sorrow, hardships and abuse. The peril of death was most prominent in "public performances for public punishment" or selections, when inmates would be lined in groups and individuals would be randomly pointed out to receive punishment of death before the rest. The Ustase would intensify this by prolonging the process, patrolling about and asking questions, gazing at inmates, choosing them and then refrain and point out another. As inmates, people could react to the Ustase crimes in an active or passive manner. The activists would form resistance movements and groups, steal food, plot escapes and revolts, contacts with the outside world. The passive inmates, the majority, would react by attempt to survive, to go through the day unharmed. This is not "going in line to slaughter", but rather another approach to survival, which deprived the Ustase of the possibility of completely dehumanizing the inmates. However, some of these inmates became in this way utterly primitive, as their whole life revolved around following orders and eating a bowl of soup. Thus they became "musselmans": physically appearing as living skeletons, but mentally stripped of their humanity beyond hope of salvation. All inmates suffered from psychological phenomena to some extent: obsessive thoughts of food, paranoia, delusions, day-dreams, lack of self-control. Some inmates reacted with attempts at documenting the atrocities, such as Nikola Nikolic, Djuro Schawrtz and Ilija Ivanovic, who all tried to memorize and even write of events, dates and details. Such deeds were perilous, since writing was punishable by death and tracking dates was hard.

Mass murder and cruelty

According to Jaša Almuli, former president of the Serbian Jewish community, Jasenovac was a much more terrifying concentration camp, in terms of cruelty, compared with Auschwitz. In the late summer of 1942, tens of thousands of Serbian villagers were deported to Jasenovac from the Kozara mountain area (in Bosnia) where NDH forces were fighting against the Yugoslav Partisans. Most of the men were killed at Jasenovac, but women were sent to forced labor in Germany. Children were taken from their mothers and either killed or dispersed to Catholic orphanages.

On the night of 29 August 1942, the prison guards made bets among themselves as to who could liquidate the largest number of inmates. One of the guards, Petar Brzica, boasted  cutting the throats of about 1,360 new arrivals with a wheat cutting knife that became known as srbosjek ("Serb-cutter").

Above, The 'Serb Cutter'

Other participants who confessed to participating in the bet included Ante Zrinusic, who killed some 600 inmates, and Mile Friganovic, who gave a detailed and consistent report of the incident. Friganovic admitted to having killed some 1,100 inmates. He specifically recounted his torture of an old man named Vukasin; he attempted to compel the man to bless Ante Pavelic, which the old man refused to do, although Friganovic cut off his ears, nose and tongue after each refusal. Ultimately, he cut out the old man's eyes, tore out his heart, and slashed his throat. This incident was witnessed by Dr. Nikola Nikolic.

Systematic extermination of prisoners

Besides sporadic killings and deaths due to the poor living conditions, many inmates arriving at Jasenovac were scheduled for systematic liquidation. An important criterion for selection was the duration of a prisoner's anticipated detention. Strong men capable of labor and sentenced to less than three years of incarceration were allowed to live. All inmates with indeterminate sentences or sentences of three years or more were immediately scheduled for liquidation, regardless of their fitness.

Systematic extermination varied both as to place and form. Some of the executions were mechanical, following Nazi methodology, while others were manual. The mechanical means of extermination included:

  • Cremation: The Ustase cremated living inmates, who were sometimes drugged and sometimes fully awake, as well as corpses. The first cremations took place in the brick factory ovens in January, 1942. Engineer Hinko Dominik Picilli perfected this method by converting seven of the kiln's furnace chambers into more sophisticated crematories.
  • Crematories were also placed in Gradina, across the Sava River. According to the State Commission, however, "there is no information that it ever went into operation.” Later testimony, however, say the Gradina crematory had become operational. Some bodies were buried rather than cremated, as shown by exhumation of bodies late in the war.
  • Gassing and poisoning: The Ustase, in following the Nazi example, as set in Auschwitz and Sajmiste, tried to employ poisonous gas to kill inmates that arrived in Stara-Gradiska. They first tried to gas the women and children that arrived from camp Djakovo with gas vans that Simo Klaic called "green Thomas". The method was later replaced with stationary gas-chambers with Zyklon B and sulphur dioxide.

Manual methods, the Ustase's favorites, were liquidation that took part in utilizing sharp or blunt craftsmen tools: knives, saws, hammers, et cetera. These liquidations took place in various locations:

  • Granik: Granik was a ramp used to unload goods of Sava boats. In winter 1943-44, season agriculture laborers became unemployed, while large transports of new internees arrived and the need for liquidation, in light of the expected Axis defeat, were large. Therefore, "Maks" Luburic devised a plan to utilize the crane as a gallows on which slaughter would be committed, so that the bodies could be dumped into the stream of the flowing river. In the autumn, the Ustase NCO's came in every night for some 20 days, with lists of names of people who were incarcerated in the warehouse, stripped, chained, beaten and then taken to the "Granik", where weights were tied to the wire that was bent on their arms, and their intestines and neck were slashed, and they were thrown into the river with a blow of a blunt tool in the head. The method was later enhanced, so that inmates were tied in pairs, back to back, their bellies were cut before they were tossed into the river alive.
  • Gradina: The Ustase utilized empty areas in the vicinity of the villages Donja Gradina and Ustice, where they encircled an area marked for slaughter and mass graves in wire. The Ustase slew victims with knives or smashed their skulls with mallets. When gypsies arrived in the camp, they did not undergo selection, but were rather concentrated under the open skies at a section of camp known as "III-C". From there the gypsies were taken to liquidation in Gradina, working on the dike (men) or in the corn fields in Ustice (women) in between liquidations. Thus Gradina and Ustica became Roma mass grave sites. Furthermore, small groups of gypsies were utilized as gravediggers that actually participated in the slaughter at Gradina. Thus the extermination at the site grew until it became the main killing-ground in Jasenovac. Grave sites were also located in Ustica and in Draksenic.
  • Mlaka and Jablanac: Two sites used as collection and labour camps for the women and children in camps III and V, but also as places where many of these women and children, as well as other groups, were liquidated at the Sava bank in between the two locations.
  • Velika Kustarica: According to the state-commission, as far as 50,000 people were killed here in the winter amid 1941 and 1942. There is more evidence suggesting that killings took place there at that time and afterwards.

Inmate help

In 1942, Diana Budisavljević came into contact with German officers at Stara Gradiška about releasing children from the camp. With the help of the Ministry of Social Affairs, especially prof. Kamil Bresler, she was able to relocate child inmates from the camp to Zagreb, and other places. The Red-Cross is in times accused of insufficient aid of the persecuted Jews in Nazi Europe. In the NDH, however, the operation of the Red-Cross was ambivalent, and although the assistance was perhaps late or insufficient, it was the most help the victims ever got. The local representative, Julius Schmidllin, was contacted by the Jewish community, which sought financial aid. The organisation helped to release Jews from camps, and even debated with the Croatian government in relation to visiting the Jasenovac camp. The wish was eventually granted in July 1944. The camp was prepared for the arrival of the delegation, so that it found nothing incriminating. The inmates also received help from Croat citizens and even of Ustase. Borislav Seva was rescued by an Ustase Vladimir Cupic. Inmate resistance groups were aided by contacts amongst the Ustase: one of these groups, operating in the tannery, was assisted by Ustase Dr. Marin Jurcev and his wife, and by an Ustase that defected to the Partisan side with information of the atrocities of Jasenovac. Ustase found guilty of tender handling of inmates were killed. Civilians were mostly kind towards inmates that did exterior labor.

End of the camp

In April 1945, as Partisan units approached the camp, the Ustaše camp supervisors attempted to erase traces of the atrocities by working the death camp at full capacity. On 22 April, 600 prisoners revolted; 520 were killed and 80 escaped. Before abandoning the camp shortly after the prisoner revolt, the Ustaše killed the remaining prisoners, blasted and destroyed the buildings, guardhouses, torture rooms, the "Picili Furnace", and the other structures. Upon entering the camp, the partisans found only ruins, soot, smoke, and dead bodies.

During the following months of 1945, the grounds of Jasenovac were thoroughly destroyed by prisoners of war. The Allied forces captured 200 to 600 Home Guard members. Labourers completed destruction of the camp, levelling the site and dismantling the two-kilometre long, four-meter high wall that surrounded it.

Victims

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Total Number

Historians have had difficulty calculating and agreeing on the number of victims at Jasenovac. An accurate number might not ever be known but current estimates range between 49,600 to 600,000. Other sources place it at around 100,000. The first figures to be offered by the state-commission of Croatia ranged around 500,000 and even 600,000. The official estimate of the number of victims in SFRY was 700,000; however, beginning in the 1990s, the Croatian side began suggesting substantially smaller numbers. The exact numbers continue to be a subject of great controversy and hot political dispute, with the Croatian government and institutions pushing for a much lower number even as recently as September 2009.

The estimates vary due to lack of accurate records, the methods used for making estimates, and sometimes the political biases of the estimators. In some cases, entire families were exterminated, leaving no one to submit their names to the lists. On the other hand, it has been found that the lists include the names of people who died elsewhere, whose survival was not reported to the authorities, or who are counted more than once on the lists.

The casualty figures for the whole of Yugoslavia sways between the maximum 1,700,000 and the more reliable figures between 1,500,000 or one million .istorical documentation sources

 

The documentation from the time of Jasenovac revolves around the different sides in the battle for Yugoslavia: The Germans and Italians on the one hand, and the Partisans on the other. There are also sources originating from the documentation of the Ustase themselves and of the Vatican. These sources are at times considered contemporary because German and Ustase sources tend to exaggerate, but the comparison of all different sources can give a reliable portrait of the historical truth.

German generals issued reports of the number of victims as the war progressed. German military commanders gave different figures for the number of Serbs, Jews and others killed on the territory of the Independent State of Croatia. They circulated figures of 400,000 Serbs (Alexander Löhr); 350,000 Serbs (Lothar Rendulic); around 300,000 (Edmund Glaise von Horstenau); in 1943; "600-700,000 until March 1944" (Ernst Fick); 700,000 (Massenbach). Hermann Neubacher calculates:

"A third must become Catholic, a third must leave the country, and a third must die!" This last point of their program was accomplished. When prominent Ustasha leaders claimed that they slaughtered a million Serbs, that is, in my opinion, a boastful exaggeration. On the basis of the reports submitted to me, I believe that the number of defenseless victims slaughtered to be three quarters of a million. (Neubacher, Dr. Hermann. Special Assignment in the Southeast, p. 18-30.)

Italian generals, who were more overwhelmed by the atrocious Ustase slaughter, also reported similar figures to their commanders. The Vatican's sources also speak of similar figures, that is, for an example, of 350,000 Serbs slaughtered by the end of 1942 (Eugen Tisserant) and "over 500,000 people" in all (Godfried Danneels.)

The Ustase themselves gave more exaggerated assumptions of the number of people they killed. Vjekoslav "Maks" Luburić, commander-in-chief of all the Croatian camps, announced the great "efficiency" of the Jasenovac camp at a ceremony as early as 9 October 1942. During the banquet which followed, he reported with pride, intoxicated: "We have slaughtered here at Jasenovac more people than the Ottoman Empire was able to do during its occupation of Europe." Other Ustase sources give more canon estimations: a circular of the Ustase general headquarters that reads: "the concentration and labor camp in Jasenovac can receive an unlimited number of internees". In the same spirit, Miroslav Filipovic-Majstorovic, once captured by Yugoslav forces, admitted that during his three months of administration, 20,000 to 30,000 people died. Since it became clear that his confession was an attempt to somewhat minimize the rate of crimes committed in Jasenovac, having, for an example, claimed to have personally killed 100 people, extremely understated, Miroslav's figures are evaluated so that in some sources they appear as 30,000-40,000.

A report of the National Committee of Croatia for the investigation of the crimes of the occupation forces and their collaborators, dated 15 November 1945, which was commissioned by the new government of Yugoslavia under Josip Broz Tito, stated that 500,000-600,000 people were killed at the Jasenovac complex. These figures were cited by researchers Israel Gutman and Menachem Shelach in the Encyclopaedia of the Holocaust from 1990 and Simon Wiesenthal Centre.  Menachem Shelach will in his book speak that number, of some 300,000 bodies being found and exhumed is reliable  Mosa Pijade and Eduard Kardelij used this number in the war reparations meetings. Thus the proponents of these numbers were subsequently accused of artificially inflating them for purpose of obtaining war reparations. All in all, The state-commission's report has been the only public and official document about number of victims during 45 years of second Yugoslavia.

The state's total war casualties of 1,700,000 as presented by Yugoslavia at the Paris Peace Treaties, were produced by a math student, Vladeta Vučković, at the Federal Bureau of Statistics. He later admitted that his estimates included demographic losses (i.e., also factoring in the estimated population increase), while actual losses would have been significantly less. This number of victims has been refused by Germany during war reparations talks.

Živanović: a contemporary forensic source

Between 22 and 27 June 1964, exhumations of bodies and use of sampling methods was conducted at Jasenovac by Vida Brodar and Anton Pogačnik from Ljubljana university and Srboljub Živanović from Novi Sad university.  During the Yugoslav Wars, Serbian anthropologist, Srboljub Živanović, published during war between Croatia and Serbia what he claimed were the full results of the studies, which in his words has been suppressed by Tito's government in the name of brotherhood and unity, in order to put less emphasis on the crimes of the Ustashe. According to Živanović, the research gave strong support to the victim counts of more than 500,000, with estimates of 700,000-800,000 being realistic, stating that in every mass grave there are 800 skeletons.

Victim lists

  • The Jasenovac Memorial Area maintains a list of the names of 69,842 Jasenovac victims, including 39,580 Serbs, 14,599 Romanies, 10,700 Jews, 3,462 Croats, and people of some other ethnicities. The memorial estimates total deaths at 85,000 to 100,000.
  • The Belgrade Museum of the Holocaust keeps a list of the names of 80,022 victims (mostly from Jasenovac), including approximately 52,000 Serbs, 16,000 Jews, 12,000 Croats and 10,000 Romanies.
  • Antun Miletić, a researcher at the Military Archives in Belgrade, has collected data on Jasenovac since 1979. His list contains the names of 77,200 victims, of which 41,936 are Serbs.
  • In 1998, the Bosniak Institute published SFR Yugoslavia's final List of war victims from the Jasenovac camp (created in 1992). The list contained the names of 49,602 victims at Jasenovac, including 26,170 Serbs, 8,121 Jews, 5,900 Croats, 1471 Romanies, 787 Muslims (nationality unknown), 6,792 of unidentifiable ethnicity, and some listed simply as "others". Another list from that institution, naming victims that died between April and November 1944, lists 4,892 names.

Estimates by Holocaust institutions

The Yad Vashem center claims that more than 500,000 Serbs were murdered in Croatia in horribly sadistic ways, 250,000 were expelled, and another 200,000 were forced to convert to Catholicism in the NDH including those who were killed at Jasenovac. The same figures are concluded by the Simon-Wiesentall center. Thus Menachem Shelach and Israel Gutman conclude at "the encyclopedia of the holocaust":

"Some six hundred thousand people were murdered at Jasenovac, mostly Serbs, Jews, Gypsies, and opponents of the Ustase regime. The number of Jewish victims was between twenty thousand and twenty-five thousand, most of whom were murdered there up to August 1942, when deportation of the Croatian Jews to Auschwitz for extermination began." (Entry in Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, edited by Israel Gutman, vol.1, 1995, pp.739-740)"

On the other hand, however, as of 2009, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum estimates that the Ustaša regime murdered between 66,000 and 99,000 people of all ethnicities (but mostly Serbs) in Jasenovac between 1941 and 1945, and that during the period of Ustaša rule, a total of between 330,000 and 390,000 ethnic Serbs and more than 30,000 Croatian Jews were killed either in Croatia or at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Statistical estimates

In the 1980s, calculations were done by Serb statistician Bogoljub Kočović, and by Croat economist Vladimir Žerjavić, who claimed that total number of victims in Yugoslavia was less than 1.7 million, an official estimate at the time, both concluding that the number of victims was around one million. Žerjavić calculated furthermore, claiming that the number of victims in the Independent State of Croatia was between 300,000 and 350,000, including 80,000 victims in Jasenovac, as well as thousands of deaths in other camps and prisons. Kočović, who made an estimate of the total number of victims, accused Žerjavić of being motivated by nationalism.

However, these estimates have been dismissed as biased and unreliable especially on the Serbian side. The mere 0.1% change of the (unknown) birth rate would contribute more to the number of victims than the Žerjavić's claim of the number of Serbs killed in Jasenovac (50,000) and his calculation has a deficiency rate of 30%. Žerjavić has been dismissed as a nationalist even by Kočović, and his estimates of number of victims in the Bosnian war of the 90s (300,000 killed) was three times greater than ICTY data and Bosnian official estimates after the war, and sheds light on problems with his credibility. Accused by some Croatian historians of being a plagiarist and the 'court statistician'.

Commentators in Serbia criticized these estimates as far too low, since the demographic calculations assumed arbitrarily that the growth rate for Serbs in Bosnia (which was part of the Independent State of Croatia during the war time) was equal to the total growth rate throughout the former Yugoslavia (1.1% at the time). According to Serbian sources, however, the actual growth rate in this region was 2.4% (in 1921-1931) and 3.5% (in 1949-1953). This method is considered very unreliable by critics because there is no reliable data on total births during this period, yet the results depend strongly on the birth rate - just a change of 0.1% in birth rate changes the victim count by 50,000. According to the census, the number of Serbs between last prewar ([1931]) and first post war (1948) census has gone up from 1,028,139 to around 1,200,000. The Yugoslav Federal Bureau of Statistics has in 1964 created list of World War II victims with 597,323 names and deficiency estimated at 20-30% which is giving between 750,000 and 780,000 victims. Together with estimated 200,000 killed collaborators and quislings, the total number would reach about one million. This Yugoslav Federal Bureau of Statistics list was declared a state secret in 1964 and it was published only in 1989.

Camp officials and their fate

Some of the camp officials and their post-war fate are listed below:

  • Miroslav Majstorović, an Ustasa infamous for his command periods in Jasenovac and Stara-Gradiska, named "Fra Sotona" (father devil) for his cruelty and Christian upbringing, was captured by the Yugoslav communist forces, tried and executed in 1946.
  • Maks Luburić was the commandant of the Ustaska Obrana, or Ustase defense, thus being held responsible for all crimes committed under his supervision in Jasenovac, which he visited two-three times a month or so fled to Spain, but was assassinated by a Yugoslav agent in 1969.
  • Dinko Šakić fled to Argentina, but was eventually extradited, tried and sentenced, in 1999, by Croatian authorities to 20 years in prison, dying in prison in 2008.
Petar Brzica was an Ustasa officer who, in the night of 29 August 1942, allegedly slaughtered 1,360 people or so, Brzica's fellow Ustasa also took part in that crime, as part of a competition of throat cutting. Brzica is also known for having killed an inmate by beating him, on the departure of administrator

 

Sisak children's concentration camp was a concentration camp during World War II, set up by the Croatian pro-nazi Ustaše government for Serbian, Jewish and Roma children. The camp was located in Sisak, Croatia. It was part of the Jasenovac cluster of concentration and death camps and of the wider Nazi-controlled genocidal effort across Europe.

 

Prelude

In the town of Sisak, situated nigh the town of Jasenovac, Ustaše presence was vigilant. Early in 1942, the local synagogue was robbed utterly, and the building later housed a worker's hall. The settlers of Sisak were quickly brought to Ustaše attention, and those of them that were of Serbian or Jewish kinship were tormented. One example is Miloš Teslić, a Serbian philanthropist, who was tortured gravely: reports say his eyes and arms were sawn off, while his chest was burnt with hot iron and his heart was cut out.

The camp

The camp held more than 6600 Serbian, Jewish and Roma children throughout World War II. The children were housed in abandoned stables, ridden with filth and pests. Terms of hard malnutrition resulted in an acute impairment of health, that had grown worse due to the spread of Dysentery. The children were fed daily with a portion of thin gruel and, in spite of being between 3 to 16 years of age, were treated horribly by the Ustaše guards. "Witnesses recount seeing an Ustasha soldier pick up a child by the legs and smash his/her head against a wall until he/she was dead, ..." The Red-Cross noticed the existence of the camp, and even tried to be of use and aid to the children, subsequently obtaining the release of some children, while others were poisoned with caustic soda later on. Estimates state over 1600 died.