The JASENOVAC CONCENTRATION CAMP (Serbo-Croatian : Logor
Jasenovac/Логор Јасеновац, pronounced ; Yiddish :
יאסענאוואץ) was an extermination camp established in
Slavonia by the authorities of the Independent State of
World War II
World War II . The camp was established by the governing
Ustaše regime and not operated by
Nazi Germany . It was one of the
largest concentration camps in Europe and the camp has been referred
to as "the Auschwitz of the Balkans" and "the Yugoslav Auschwitz".
It was established in August 1941 in marshland at the confluence of
Sava and Una rivers near the village of Jasenovac , and was
dismantled in April 1945. It was "notorious for its barbaric practices
and the large number of victims".
In Jasenovac the majority of victims were ethnic
Serbs , others were
Jews , Roma , and some political dissidents. Jasenovac was a complex
of five subcamps spread over 210 km2 (81 sq mi) on both banks of the
Sava and Una rivers. The largest camp was the "Brickworks" camp at
Jasenovac , about 100 km (62 mi) southeast of
Zagreb . The overall
complex included the Stara Gradiška sub-camp , the killing grounds
Sava river at Donja Gradina , five work farms, and the
Uštica Roma camp.
During and since World War II, there has been much debate and
controversy regarding the number of victims killed at the Jasenovac
concentration camp complex during its more than three-and-a-half years
of operation. After the war, a figure of 700,000 reflected the
"conventional wisdom", although estimates have gone as high as 1.4
The authorities of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
conducted a population survey in 1964 that reportedly showed a figure
of 59,188 killed, but the findings were not published until 1989.
Vladimir Žerjavić published books in 1989 and
1992 in which he "meticulously analysed the available data" and
concluded that some 83,000 people had been killed at Jasenovac. His
findings were criticized by the director of the Museum of Victims of
Genocide in Belgrade, Milan Bulajić, who defended his figure of 1.1
million, although his rebuttal was later dismissed as having "no
scholarly value". Since Bulajić's retirement from his post in 2002,
the Museum has no longer defended the figure of 700,000 to 1 million
victims of the camp. In 2005, Dragan Cvetković, a researcher from the
Museum, and a Croatian co-author published a book on wartime losses in
the NDH which gave a figure of approximately 100,000 victims of
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) in Washington,
D.C. presently estimates that the Ustaša regime murdered between
77,000 and 99,000 people in Jasenovac between 1941 and 1945,
comprising; "between 45,000 and 52,000 Serbs; between 12,000 and
20,000 Jews; between 15,000 and 20,000 Roma (Gypsies); and between
5,000 and 12,000 ethnic
Croats and Muslims, political and religious
opponents of the regime." The Jasenovac Memorial Site quotes a
similar figure of between 80,000 and 100,000 victims.
* 1 Background
* 1.1 NDH legislation
* 1.2 The influence of
* 2 Creation and operation
* 2.1 Population of inmates
* 2.2 Living conditions
* 2.3 Mass murder and cruelty
* 2.3.1 Srbosjek
* 2.4 Systematic extermination of prisoners
* 2.5 Inmate help
* 3 End of the camp
* 4 Victim numbers
* 4.1 Contemporary sources
* 4.2 Yugoslav and Croatian official estimates
* 4.3 1960s forensic investigations
* 4.4 Victim lists
* 4.5 Estimates by
* 4.6 Statistical estimates
* 5 Testimony of Jasenovac survivors and other eyewitnesses
* 5.1 Cijordana Friedlender, Stara Gradiška
* 5.2 Egon Berger, Jasenovac
* 5.3 Milko Riffer, Jasenovac
* 5.4 General von Horstenau, Jasenovac
* 6 Camp officials and their respective fates
* 7 List of notable prisoners
* 8 Jasenovac Memorial Site after 1990
* 9 See also
* 10 Notes
* 11 References
* 12 Further reading
* 13 External links
The Independent State of
Croatia (NDH) was founded on 10 April 1941,
after the invasion of Yugoslavia by the
Axis powers . The NDH
consisted of most of modern-day
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina ,
together with some parts of modern-day
Serbia . It was essentially an
Italo–German quasi-protectorate , as it owed its existence to the
Axis powers, who maintained occupation forces within the puppet state
throughout its existence.
Some of the first decrees issued by the leader of the NDH Ante
Pavelić reflected the
Ustaše adoption of the racist ideology of Nazi
Germany . The regime rapidly issued a decree restricting the
Jews and seizing their property. These laws were
followed by a decree for "the Protection of the Nation and the State"
of 17 April 1941, which mandated the death penalty for the offence of
high treason if a person did or had done "harm to the honour and vital
interests of the Croatian nation or endangered the existence of the
Independent State of Croatia". This was a retroactive law, and
arrests and trials started immediately. It was soon followed by a
decree prohibiting the use of the Cyrillic alphabet , which was an
integral part of the rites of the
Serbian Orthodox Church
Serbian Orthodox Church .
Another decree concerning nationality determined that only citizens
of Aryan origin could be nationals of the NDH, and only nationals of
the NDH were under the protection of the NDH. These decrees were
enforced not only through the regular court system, but also through
new special courts and mobile courts-martial with extended
jurisdiction. In July 1941, when existing jails could no longer
contain the growing number of new inmates, the
began clearing ground for what would become the Jasenovac
THE INFLUENCE OF NAZI GERMANY
On 10 April 1941, the Independent State of
Croatia was established,
Nazi Germany and fascist Italy, and adopting similar
racial and political doctrines. Jasenovac contributed to the Nazi
"final solution" to the "Jewish problem", the killing of Roma people
and the elimination of political opponents, but its most significant
purpose for the
Ustaše was as a means to achieve the destruction of
Serbs inside the Independent State of
Jasenovac was located in the German occupation zone of the
Independent State of
Croatia . The Nazis encouraged Ustaše
anti-Jewish and anti-Roma actions and showed support for the intended
extermination of the Serb people. Soon, the Nazis began to make clear
their genocidal goals, as shown by the speech Hitler gave to Slavko
Kvaternik , at their meeting on 21 July 1941:
Jews are the bane of mankind. If the
Jews will be allowed to do
as they will, like they are permitted in their Soviet heaven, then
they will fulfill their most insane plans. And thus Russia became the
center to the world's illness ... if for any reason, one nation would
endure the existence of a single Jewish family, that family would
eventually become the center of a new plot. If there are no more Jews
in Europe, nothing will hold the unification of the European nations
... this sort of people cannot be integrated in the social order or
into an organized nation. They are parasites on the body of a healthy
society, that live off of expulsion of decent people. One cannot
expect them to fit into a state that requires order and discipline.
There is only one thing to be done with them: To exterminate them. The
state holds this right since, while precious men die on the
battlefront, it would be nothing less than criminal to spare these
bastards. They must be expelled, or – if they pose no threat to the
public – to be imprisoned inside concentration camps and never be
Wannsee Conference ,
Germany offered the Croatian government
transportation of its
Jews southwards, but questioned the importance
of the offer, saying that: "the enactment of the final solution of the
Jewish question is not crucial, since the key aspects of this problem
were already solved by radical actions these governments took".
In addition to specifying the means of extermination, the Nazis often
arranged the imprisonment or transfer of inmates to Jasenovac.
Kasche's emissary, Major Knehe, visited the camp on 6 February 1942.
Kasche thereafter reported to his superiors:
Capitan Luburic, the commander-in-action of the camp, explained the
construction plans of the camp. It turns out that he made these plans
while in exile. These plans he modified after visiting
concentration-camps installments in Germany.
Kasche wrote the following: "The Poglavnik asks General Bader to
realize that the Jasenovac camp cannot receive the refugees from
Kozara. I agreed since the camp is also required to solve the problem
in deporting the
Jews to the east. Minister Turina can deport the Jews
Stara-Gradiška was the primary site from which
Jews were transported
to Auschwitz, but Kashe's letter refers specifically to the subcamp
Ciglana in this regard. In all documentation, the term "Jasenovac"
relates to either the complex at large or, when referring to a
specific camp, to camp nr. III, which was the main camp since November
1941. The extermination of
Serbs at Jasenovac was precipitated by
General Paul Bader, who ordered that refugees be taken to Jasenovac.
Although Jasenovac was expanded, officials were told that "Jasenovac
concentration and labor camp cannot hold an infinite number of
prisoners". Soon thereafter, German suspicions were renewed that the
Ustaše were more concerned with the extermination of
Serbs than Jews,
and that Italian and Catholic pressure was dissuading the
The Nazis revisited the possibility of transporting
Auschwitz, not only because extermination was easier there, but also
because the profits produced from the victims could be kept in German
hands, rather than being left for the
Croats or Italians. Instead
Jasenovac remained a place where
Jews who could not be deported would
be interned and killed: In this way, while
Jews were deported from
Tenje, two deportations were also made to Jasenovac.
It is also illustrated by the report sent by Hans Helm to Adolf
Eichmann , in which it is stated that the
Jews will first be collected
in Stara-Gradiška, and that "
Jews would be employed in 'forced labor'
Ustaše camps", mentioning only Jasenovac and Stara Gradiška,
"will not be deported". The Nazis found interest in the
remained inside the camp, even in June 1944, after the visit of a Red
Cross delegation. Kasche wrote: "Schmidllin showed a special interest
in the Jews. ...Luburic told me that Schmidllin told him that the Jews
must be treated in the finest manner, and that they must survive, no
matter what happens. ...Luburic suspected Schmidllin is an English
agent and therefore prevented all contact between him and the Jews".
Hans Helm was in charge of deporting
Jews to concentration camps. He
was tried in Belgrade in December 1946 along with other SS and Gestapo
officials, and was sentenced to death by hanging, along with August
Wilhelm Fuchs , Josef Hahn, Ludwig Teichmann, Josef Eckert,
Ernst Weimann, Richard Kaserer and Friedrich Polte.
CREATION AND OPERATION
Location of main camp Ciglana and additional camps. Plan
of Jasenovac main camp
Jadovno concentration camp was the first camp used for extermination
by the Ustaše. Jadovno was operational from May 1941 but was closed
in August of the same year coinciding with the formation of the camp
at Jasenovac in the same month. The Jasenovac complex was built
between August 1941 and February 1942. The first two camps, Krapje and
Bročica, were closed in November 1941.
Three newer camps continued to function until the end of the war:
* Ciglana (Jasenovac III)
* Kožara (Jasenovac IV)
* Stara Gradiška (Jasenovac V)
Ustaše militia executing people over a mass grave near
Jasenovac concentration camp
Jasenovac concentration camp
The camp was constructed, managed and supervised by Department III of
Ustaše Supervisory Service" (Ustaška nadzorna služba, UNS), a
special police force of the NDH. Vjekoslav "Maks" Luburić was head of
the UNS. Individuals managing the camp at different times included
Miroslav Filipović-Majstorović and
Dinko Šakić . The camp
administration in times used other
Ustaše battalions, police units,
Domobrani units, auxiliary units made up of Bosnian Muslims, as well
as Germans and Hungarians. The
Ustaše interned, tortured and executed
men, women and children in Jasenovac. The largest number of victims
were Serbs, but victims also included Jews, Roma (or "gypsies"), as
well as some dissident
Bosnian Muslims (i.e. Partisans or
their sympathizers, all categorized by the
Ustaše as "Communists").
Upon arrival at the camp, the prisoners were marked with colors,
similar to the use of
Nazi concentration camp badges
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.
POPULATION OF INMATES
The bodies of prisoners executed by the
Ustaše in Jasenovac
Serbs constituted the majority of inmates in Jasenovac. The
Jasenovac Memorial Area list of victims is more than 56% Serbs, 45,923
out of 80,914, see victim lists . In some cases, inmates were
immediately killed upon acknowledging Serbian ethnicity, and most
considered it to be the sole reason for their imprisonment. The Serbs
were predominantly brought from the
Kozara region, where the Ustaše
captured areas that were held by Partisan guerrillas. These were
brought to the camp without sentence, almost destined for immediate
execution, accelerated via the use of machine-guns . The exact number
of Serbian casualties in Jasenovac is uncertain, but the lowest common
estimates range around 60,000 people, and is one of the most
significant parts of overall Serbian casualties of World War II.
A report on the deportation of
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 to almost two
thirds of the Croatian Jewish population of 37,000 (meaning around
25,000). Most of the executions of
Jews at Jasenovac occurred prior
to August 1942. Thereafter, the NDH deported them to Auschwitz . In
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.
Circular made by general Ivan Prpić, following orders of
marshall Kvaternik, which informed General Staff of Army (Glavni
Stožer Domobranstva), Ustasha militia headquarters (Glavni stožer
Ustaške Vojnice), Ministry of Interior (Ministarstvo unutarnjih dela)
and Chief Command of Gandarmery (Vrhovno zapovjedništvo oružništva)
as follows: "The command of ustasha surveillance service - the chief
adjutant, with top secret No 139/42, has informed us that the assembly
and labor camp in Jasenovac can accept an unlimited number of inmates.
Therefore, please issue orders to your all subortinate (sic) command
posts to send to Jasenovac all Communists who are caught during the
clearing of areas in which military operations are conducted."
Roma in Jasenovac consisted of both Roma and
Sinti , who were
captured in various areas in Bosnia, especially in the
They were brought to Jasenovac and taken to area III-C, where
nutrition, hydration, shelter and sanitary conditions were all below
the rest of the camp's own abysmally low standards. The figures of
murdered Roma are estimated between 20,000 and 50,000.
Anti-fascists consisted of various sorts of political and ideological
opponents or antagonists of the
Ustaše regime. In general, their
treatment was similar to other inmates, although known communists were
executed right away, and convicted
Ustaše or law-enforcement
officials, or others close to the
Ustaše in opinion, such as
Croatian peasants, were held on beneficial terms and granted amnesty
after serving a duration of time. The leader of the banned Croatian
Peasant Party ,
Vladko Maček was held in Jasenovac from October 1941
to March 1942, after which he was kept under strict house arrest.
Jasenovac consisted of a unique camp for children in
Sisak . Around
20,000 Serb, Jewish and Roma children perished at Jasenovac.
The living conditions in the camp evidenced the severity typical of
Nazi death camps: a meager diet, deplorable accommodation, and the
cruel treatment by the
Ustaše guards. 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 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
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, this time to three daily portions of
thin gruel made of water and starch. Food changed repeatedly
* 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
* ACCOMMODATION: In the first camps,
Bročice and Krapje, inmates
slept in standard concentration-camp barracks, with three tiers of
bunks. In Camp No. III, which housed some 3,000 people, 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 sent to die or be executed.
* FORCED LABOR: As in all concentration camps, Jasenovac inmates
were forced daily to perform some 11 hours of hard labor, under the
eye of their
Ustaše captors, who would execute any inmate for the
most trivial reasons. The labor section was overseen by Ustaša's
Dominik "Hinko" Picilli and Tihomir Kordić. Picilli would personally
lash inmates to force them 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 Ustaše. Dike construction work was the most
* SANITATION: Inside the camp, squalor and lack of sanitation
reigned: clutter, blood, vomit and decomposing bodies filled the
barracks, which were also full of pests and of the foul stench 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 labor (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
Ustaše 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 deliberately 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.
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
* LACK OF PERSONAL POSSESSIONS: 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, designed to contain 0.4 liters (0.088 imp
gal; 0.11 U.S. gal) 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. At such times, inmates were given colored 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 Ustaše
would fuel this shock by murdering a number of inmates upon 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
Ustaše 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
Ustaše 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.
Passive inmates would react by attempting to survive, to get through
the day unharmed. This is not "going in line to slaughter", but rather
another approach to survival, which deprived the
Ustaše of the
possibility of completely dehumanizing the inmates. All inmates
suffered psychological trauma 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
survivors Ilija Ivanović, Dr Nikola Nikolić and Đuro Schwartz, all
of whom 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 extremely difficult.
MASS MURDER AND CRUELTY
Bodies of Jasenovac prisoners in the
According to Jaša Almuli, the former president of the Serbian Jewish
community, Jasenovac was a much more terrifying concentration camp in
terms of brutality than many of its German counterparts, even
Auschwitz. In the late summer of 1942, tens of thousands of ethnic
Serb villagers were deported to Jasenovac from the
Kozara region in
Bosnia , where NDH forces were fighting the Partisans . Most of the
men were executed in Jasenovac, and the women were sent to forced
labor camps in
Germany . Children were either killed or dispersed to
On the night of 29 August 1942, prison guards made bets among
themselves as to who could slaughter the largest number of inmates.
One of the guards,
Petar Brzica , boasted that he had cut the throats
of about 1,360 new arrivals.
Other participants who confessed to participating in the bet included
Ante Zrinušić-Sipka, who killed some 600 inmates, and Mile
Friganović, who gave a detailed and consistent report of the
incident. Friganović 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 Pavelić , which the old man
refused to do, even after Friganović had 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 Nikolić.
An agricultural knife nicknamed "Srbosjek" or "Serbcutter",
strapped to the hand. It was used by the
Ustaše militia for the
speedy killing of inmates at Jasenovac
Ustaše slaughtered inmates with a knife that became known as the
The construction was originally a type of wheat sheaf knife,
manufactured prior to and during
World War II
World War II by the German factory
Gebrüder Gräfrath from Solingen-Widdert , under the trademark
"Gräwiso". The upper part of the knife was made of leather, as a
sort of a glove, designed to be worn with the thumb going through the
hole, so that only the blade protruded from the hand. It was a curved,
12-centimetre-long (4.7 in) knife with the edge on its concave side.
The knife was fastened to a bowed oval copper plate, while the plate
was fastened to a thick leather bangle. Its agricultural purpose was
to enable field workers to cut wheat sheaves open before threshing
them. The knife was fixed on the glove plate to prevent injuries and
to increase work speed.
SYSTEMATIC EXTERMINATION OF PRISONERS
Besides sporadic killings and deaths due to the poor living
conditions, many inmates arriving at Jasenovac were scheduled for
systematic extermination. 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 execution,
regardless of their physical 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
Ustaše 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 Dominik "Hinko" Picilli perfected this method by converting
seven of the kiln's furnace chambers into more sophisticated
crematories. Crematoria 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
Ustaše tried to employ poisonous gas
to kill inmates arriving in Stara Gradiška. They first tried to gas
the women and children who arrived from Djakovo with gas vans that
Simo Klaić called "green Thomas". The method was later replaced with
stationary gas-chambers with
Zyklon B and sulfur dioxide .
Manual methods were executions that took part in utilizing sharp or
blunt craftsmen tools: knives, saws, hammers, et cetera. These
executions 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" Luburić 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,
Ustaše 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
Ustaše utilized empty areas in the vicinity of the
villages of Donja Gradina and Ustice, where they encircled an area
marked for slaughter and mass graves in wire. The
Ustaše slew victims
with knives or smashed their skulls with mallets. When Roma 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 Roma 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 Roma 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 labor 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
executed 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 evidence suggesting that killings took place there at that
time and afterwards.
In July 1942,
Diana Budisavljević , with the help of a German
officer, Albert von Kotzian, obtained written permission to take the
children from the Stara Gradiška concentration camp. With the help
of the Ministry of Social Affairs, including Kamilo Bresler, she was
able to relocate child inmates from the camp to Zagreb, and other
Red Cross has been accused of insufficiently aiding the
persecuted people of Nazi Europe. 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. Inmate resistance groups were aided by
contacts among the Ustaše. One of these groups, operating in the
tannery, was assisted by an Ustaše, Dr Marin Jurcev (and his wife),
who were later hanged for this on orders of
Dinko Šakić , as was any
Ustasha found guilty of consorting or collaborating with inmates were
END OF THE CAMP
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In April 1945, as Partisan units approached the camp, the camp's
supervisors attempted to erase traces of the atrocities by working the
death camp at full capacity. On 22 April, 600 prisoners revolted; 516
were killed and 84 escaped. Before abandoning the camp shortly after
the prisoner revolt, the
Ustaše killed the remaining prisoners and
torched the buildings, guardhouses, torture rooms, the "Picilli
Furnace", and all the other structures in the camp. Upon entering the
camp in May, the Partisans came across only ruins, soot, smoke, and
the skeletal remains of hundreds of victims.
During the following months of 1945, the grounds of Jasenovac were
thoroughly destroyed by prisoners of war. The Allied forces captured
200 to 600 Domobran soldiers of the army of the Independent State of
Croatia . Laborers completed the destruction of the camp, leveling the
site and dismantling the two-kilometre-long (1.2 mi), four-metre-high
(13 ft) wall that surrounded it.
Memorial signs with claims of victim counts, situated on the
Bosnian side of the
Sava river at Gradina.
Since World War II, scholars and
Holocaust institutions have advanced
diverse estimates of the number of victims killed at Jasenovac,
ranging from 1.1 million to 30,000. Most modern sources place it at
Jewish Virtual Library
Jewish Virtual Library states that "the most reliable figures"
estimate the number of
Serbs killed by the
Ustaše overall to be
"between 330,000 and 390,000, with 45,000 to 52,000
Serbs murdered in
Jasenovac" sourced to the
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum .
Historian Tomislav Dulić disputes the often quoted 700,000 figure in
Jasenovac, but states that an estimated 100,000 victims still makes it
one of the largest camps in Europe during World War II.
Train that carried prisoners to Jasenovac.
The documentation from the time of Jasenovac originates from the
different sides in the battle for Yugoslavia: The Germans and Italians
on the one hand, and the Partisans and the Allies on the other. There
are also sources originating from the documentation of the Ustaše
themselves and of the Vatican. German generals issued reports on the
number of victims as the war progressed. German military commanders
gave different figures for the number of
Jews and others
killed by the
Ustaše in the territory of the Independent State of
Croatia . They circulated figures of 400,000
Alexander Löhr );
Lothar Rendulic ); around 300,000 (Edmund Glaise von
Horstenau ) in 1943; "600–700,000 until March 1944" (Ernst Fick );
and 700,000 (Massenbach).
Hermann Neubacher calculates:
The recipe, received by the
Ustaše leader and Poglavnik, the
president of the Independent State of Croatia, Ante Pavelić,
resembled genocidal intentions from some of the bloodiest religious
wars: "A third must become Catholic, a third must leave the country,
and a third must die!" This last point of the
Ustaše program was
accomplished. When prominent
Ustaše leaders claimed that they
slaughtered a million
Serbs (including babies, children, women and old
men), 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.
Italian generals reported similar figures to their commanders. The
Vatican's sources also speak of similar figures, for example 350,000
Serbs slaughtered by the end of 1942 (
Eugene Tisserant ).
Ustaše themselves gave more exaggerated estimates of the number
of people they killed. Vjekoslav "Maks" Luburić , the
commander-in-chief of all the Croatian camps, announced the great
"efficiency" of the Jasenovac camp at a ceremony on 9 October 1942.
During a banquet that followed, he reported:
"We have slaughtered here at Jasenovac more people than the Ottoman
Empire was able to do during its occupation of Europe."
A circular from the
Ustaše general headquarters reads: "the
concentration and labor camp in Jasenovac can receive an unlimited
number of internees." In the same spirit, Filipović-Majstorović ,
once captured by Yugoslav forces, admitted that during his three
months of administration, 20,000 to 30,000 people died. As it became
clear that his confession was an attempt to somewhat minimize the rate
of crimes committed in Jasenovac, his claim to have personally killed
100 people being extremely understated, Filipović-Majstorović's
figures are reevaluated so that in some sources they appear as
YUGOSLAV AND CROATIAN OFFICIAL ESTIMATES
A 15 November 1945 report of the National Committee of
the investigation of the crimes of the occupation forces and their
collaborators, which was commissioned by the new government of
Josip Broz Tito
Josip Broz Tito , indicated that between
500,000–600,000 people were murdered at Jasenovac. These figures
were cited by researchers Israel Gutman and Menachem Shelach in the
Encyclopedia of the Holocaust from 1990. Shelach wrote that some
300,000 bodies were found and exhumed. The
Simon Wiesenthal Center
Simon Wiesenthal Center 's
Museum of Tolerance adopted the same number at some point.
Various Yugoslav officials used the total number of around 1,700,000
victims in all of Yugoslavia in the war reparations meetings between
1945 and 1947 . The proponents of these numbers were subsequently
accused of artificially inflating them for the purpose of obtaining
war reparations . The State Commission's report has been the only
public and official document about number of victims during 45 years
of second Yugoslavia. Tomasevich states that these numbers are indeed
exaggerated, but that the original copy of the State Commission report
cited 400,000 victims.
Vladeta Vučković wrote in Bogoljub Kočović's 1985 book that, back
in 1947, while he was a math student at the Federal Bureau of
Statistics, he was tasked with producing the state's total war
casualties estimate for the foreign minister
Edvard Kardelj . She
says he calculated a statistical estimate of 1,700,000 demographic
population loss (i.e., also factoring in the estimated population
increase), while actual losses would have been significantly lower.
Nevertheless, Kardelj subsequently presented this as Yugoslavia's real
loss at the Paris Peace Treaties . These estimates were rejected by
Germany during war reparations talks. The Encyclopedia of the
Holocaust's casualty figure for the whole of Yugoslavia was a more
conservative 1,500,000. The conventional estimate of the number of
victims of Jasenovac in
SFR Yugoslavia was 700,000.
In 1964, the Yugoslav Federal Bureau of Statistics created a list of
World War II
World War II victims with 597,323 names and deficiency estimated at
20–30%, giving between 750,000 and 780,000 victims. Together with
the estimate of 200,000 "collaborators and quislings" killed, the
total number would reach about one million. The bureau's list was
declared a state secret in 1964 and published only in 1989. The
survey results showed a far lower figure of 59,188 killed at
Jasenovac, of whom 33,944 were recorded as Serbs.
Beginning in the 1990s, the Croatian side began publicly suggesting
substantially smaller numbers of victims. The exact numbers were a
subject of great controversy and political dispute during the breakup
of Yugoslavia . President
Franjo Tuđman 's 1989 book, Horrors of War:
Historical Reality and Philosophy , had questioned the official
numbers of victims killed during
World War II
World War II in Yugoslavia, which
later brought him in conflict with
Simon Wiesenthal and others.
The Jasenovac Memorial Site, the museum institution sponsored by the
Croatian government since the end of the Croatian War of Independence
, has posted claims that current research estimates the number of
victims at between 80,000 and 100,000.
The State Commission of
Croatia for the Investigation of the Crimes
of the Occupation Forces and their Collaborators from 1946 concludes:
"Such a manner of preconceived and inhumane torture and slaughter of a
peoplehas never been recorded in history. The Ustase criminals
followed precisely the model of their German masters, most consciously
executed all their orders, and did so in pursuit of a single goal: to
exterminate as many of our people as possible, and to create a living
space as large as possible for them. The total dependence by the
Ustase on their German masters, the foundation of the camp itself, the
dispatch of the "disloyal", the brutal implementation of Hitler's
racist Nazi theories and the deportation to the camps and
extermination of the racially and nationally "impure", the same
methods of torture and atrocities with minor varieties of Ustase
cruelty, the building of furnaces and incineration of victims in
furnaces (the Picilli furnace) — all of the evidence points to the
conclusion that both Jasenovac and the crimes committed in it were
fashioned from a German recipe, owing to a German Hitlerite order as
implemented by their servants, the Ustase. Subsequently,
responsibility for the crimes of Jasenovac falls equally on their
German masters and the Ustase executioners."
1960S FORENSIC INVESTIGATIONS
On 16 November 1961, the municipal committee of former partisans from
Bosanska Dubica organized an unofficial investigation at the grounds
of Donja Gradina, led by locals who were not forensic experts. This
investigation uncovered three mass graves and identified 17 human
skulls in one of them. Based on this, along with the fact that 120
other untouched graves were identified, they extrapolated the number
of victims to 350,800. In response, scientists were called in to
verify the site. Dr Alojz Šercelj started preliminary drilling to
identify the most likely grave locations, and then between 22 and 27
June 1964, exhumations of bodies and the use of sampling methods was
conducted at Jasenovac by Vida Brodar and Anton Pogačnik from
Ljubljana University and Srboljub Živanović from Novi Sad University
. They examined a total of seven mass graves, which held a total of
284 victims' remains, and concluded that the entire Jasenovac complex
could have around 200 similar sites.
In October 1985, a group of investigators from the Serbian Academy of
Sciences and Arts , led by
Vladimir Dedijer , visited Jasenovac and
made a record of it, in which the record taker, Antun Miletić,
mentioned the 1961 excavation, but misquoted the number of victims it
identified as 550,800. They also noted the 1964 excavation, and
estimated that Gradina held the remains of 366,000 victims, without
In 1989, prior to the breakup of Yugoslavia , Serbian anthropologist
Srboljub Živanović published what he claimed were the full results
of the 1964 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 Croatian Ustaše."
In November 1989, Živanović claimed on television that their
research resulted in victim counts of more than 500,000, with
estimates of 700,000–800,000 being realistic, stating that in every
mass grave there were 800 skeletons. Vida Brodar then commented on
that statement and said the research never resulted in any victim
counts, and that these numbers were Živanović's manipulations,
providing a copy of the research log as corroboration. A Croatian
historian, Željko Krušelj, publicly criticized Živanović and
labeled him a fraud over this.
* The Jasenovac Memorial Area maintains a list of the names
(collected until March 2013) of 83,145 Jasenovac victims, including
47,627 Serbs, 16,173 Romani, 13,116 Jews, 4,255 Croats, 1,128 Bosnian
Muslims, and 266 Slovenes, among others. Of the 83,145 named victims,
20,101 are children under the age of 14, and 23,474 are women. The
memorial estimates total deaths at 80,000 to 100,000. The list is
subject to update – in 2007, it had 69,842 entries.
* 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 1997, the Museum of Genocide Victims in Belgrade identified
10,521 Jewish victims at Jasenovac, with full names.
* 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, 1,471 Romani, 787 Bosnian
Muslims, 6,792 of unidentifiable ethnicity, and some listed simply as
* In 1998, the
Croatian State Archives
Croatian State Archives issued an announcement that a
notebook had been found containing partial raw data of the State
Commission for War Crimes, where the number of victims of Jasenovac
from the territory of the People\'s Republic of
Croatia was 15,792,
with victims by year: 2,891 persons in 1941, 8,935 in 1942, 676 in
1943, 2,167 in 1944, and 1,123 in 1945. The notebook was generally
described as incomplete, particularly the Jasenovac records, but the
said numbers were deemed credible as all the other numbers of victims
mentioned in the book were consistent with those from the other
documents released by the State Commission.
ESTIMATES BY HOLOCAUST INSTITUTIONS
Yad Vashem Center has stated that "more than 500,000
murdered in horribly sadistic ways, 250,000 were expelled, and
another 200,000 were forced to convert to Catholicism."
In the 1990
Encyclopedia of the Holocaust , Menachem Shelach and
Israel Gutman wrote:
"Some six hundred thousand people were murdered at Jasenovac, mostly
Serbs, Jews, Gypsies, and political opponents of the
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." — Israel Gutman (ed.), Encyclopedia of the
As of 2009, the
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum estimates
Ustaše murdered between 66,000 and 99,000 people (mostly
Serbs) at Jasenovac between 1941 and 1945, and that during the period
Ustaše rule, a total of between 330,000 and 390,000 ethnic Serbs
and more than 30,000 Croatian
Jews were killed, either in
In the 1980s, calculations were done by Serbian statistician Bogoljub
Kočović , and by Croatian 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. Kočović estimated that, of
that number, between 370,000 and 410,000 ethnic
Serbs died in the
Independent State of Croatia. Žerjavić, claiming 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, first calculated 53,000, but later
brought his estimate up to 70,000 and eventually to 80,000.
In the 1980s, Žerjavić published two books in which he concluded
that approximately 83,000 people had perished at Jasenovac, 50,000 of
them Serbs. Žerjavić's research was criticised by
Antun Miletić ,
director of Belgrade's military archives, who in 1997 claimed the
figure for Jasenovac was 1.1 million. Another critic of Žerjavić, Dr
Milan Bulajić, former director of the Museum of the Victims of
Genocide in Belgrade, maintained that the numbers were in the range of
700,000–1,000,000. Since Bulajić's retirement from his post, a
researcher from the Museum and a Croatian co-author have published a
book on wartime losses giving a figure of approximately 100,000
victims of Jasenovac.
TESTIMONY OF JASENOVAC SURVIVORS AND OTHER EYEWITNESSES
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A number of former camp prisoners and others testified about the
horrors they witnessed in Jasenovac, including:
CIJORDANA FRIEDLENDER, STARA GRADIšKA
A former prisoner, Cijordana Friedlender, testified at the trial of
Ante Vrban, Ustasha commandant of the concentration camp at Stara
Gradiška. During the trial, Ante Vrban confessed to this crime,
admitting he killed children with zyklon gas.
"At that time fresh women and children arrived daily at the Camp in
Stara Gradiška. About fourteen days later, Vrban ordered all
children to be separated from their mothers and put into one room. Ten
of us were told to carry them there in blankets. The children crawled
about the room, and one child put an arm and leg through the doorway,
so that the door could not be closed. Vrban shouted: 'Push it!' When I
did not do that, he banged the door and crushed the child's leg. Then
he took the child by its whole-leg, and banged it on the wall until it
was dead. After that we continued carrying the children in. When the
room was full, Vrban brought poison gas and killed them all."
EGON BERGER, JASENOVAC
In his book 44 Months in Jasenovac, former inmate Egon Berger
described the following atrocity, by the camp commander, a Franciscan
friar, Miroslav Filipović-Majstorović :
"The priestly face of Fra Majstorovic , all made-up and powdered,
dressed in an elegant suit and a green hunter's hat, watched with
delight the victims. He approached the children, even stroked their
heads. The company was joined by Ljubo Milos and Ivica Matkovic. Fra
Majstorovic told the mothers there will now be a baptism for their
children. They took the children from the mothers, the child whom
Father Majstorovic was carrying, in his child's innocence caressed the
painted face of his killer. The mothers, distraught, perceived the
situation. They offered their lives for mercy for the children. Two
children were placed on the ground, while the third was thrown like a
ball into the air, and Fra Majstorovic, holding a dagger upwards,
missed three times, while the fourth time with a joke and a laugh, a
child was impaled on the dagger. Mothers began throwing themselves on
the ground, pulling their hair, and began to shout terribly. Ustasha
guards of the 14th
Osijek Company took them away and killed them. When
all three children were so brutally killed, these three two-legged
beasts exchanged money, because they seem to have a bet on who would
be the first to stick a dagger in a child."
MILKO RIFFER, JASENOVAC
In his memoir, Jasenovac survivor Milko Riffer described many
horrendous crimes, including the wholesale extermination of
tens-of-thousands: "At one time in the camp there was a large
number of Gypsies, who, though innocent, were captured throughout the
Independent State of
Croatia and driven to Jasenovac. There where
perhaps ten-, perhaps twenty-thousand, and of those only two remained.
As seedstock." From one rather large group of Gypsies they
formed the so-called grave-diggers’ group, which was transferred to
Gradina . They had the duty to undress slain victims and sort the
resulting clothes ... It was an enormous, hard job, accompanied by
desperate screams and cries of the victims, who in continuous columns
arrived at the slaughterhouse. They plied with large quantities of
brandy, because only in an almost completely drunk state could they be
made to carry out that infernal work in the pits, in which there lay
thousands of battered and slaughtered human bodies. Many of them lost
their mind, and were taken to perform "lighter work" elsewhere. They,
of course, never returned. The campaign of slaughter lasted long,
almost continuously for two years"
GENERAL VON HORSTENAU, JASENOVAC
The Nazi general, Edmund Glaise von Horstenau , Hitler's
plenipotentiary in the Independent Croatian State, described in his
book, Ein General im Zwielicht, his visit to Jasenovac, as follows:
We now entered the concentration camp in a converted factory.
Appalling conditions. A handful of men, many women and children,
without enough clothing, sleeping on a stone tablet at night, screams
all around, cries and sobbing. The camp commander – a scoundrel –
I ignored him, but instead told my Ustasha guide: "This is enough to
make a person vomit."
And then worst of all: a room along whose walls, lay on straw which
had just been brought for my inspection, something like fifty naked
children, half of them dead, the other half dying. We should not
forget that the inventors of concentrations camps were the British
during the Boer War. However, these camps have reached the height of
hideousness here in Croatia, under the Poglavnik installed by us. The
greatest of all evils must be Jasenovac, which no ordinary mortal can
Von Horstenau also described how Serb villagers were transported to
Jasenovac, following a massacre perpetrated by Ustasha troops, in the
nearby village of Crkveni Bok (the quote below was translated by R.
At Crkveni Bok, an unhappy place where, under the leadership of an
Ustasha lieutenant-colonel, some 500 yokels (Lumpen) of from fifteen
to twenty years old met their end, all murdered, the women raped and
then tortured to death, the children killed. I saw in the
Sava river a
woman's corpse with the eyes gouged out and a stick shoved into the
sexual parts. This woman was at most twenty years old when she fell
into the hands of these monsters. Anywhere in a corner, the pigs are
gorging themselves on an unburied human being. All the houses were
looted. The 'lucky' inhabitants were consigned to one of the fearsome
goods trains; many of these involuntary 'passengers' cut their veins
on the journey.
CAMP OFFICIALS AND THEIR RESPECTIVE FATES
Some of the camp officials and their post-war fate are listed below:
Eugen Dido Kvaternik , chief of the NDH's internal security
service, was head of all camps in the NDH territory until 1943. He
Argentina after the war, where he died in a traffic
accident in 1962.
Andrija Artuković was the creator and signatory of most of the
decrees pursuant to which genocide and acts of terror were carried out
against the population of the Independent State of Croatia, on the
grounds of racial, religious, national or ideological affiliation.
From October 1942 to April 1943 he was Minister of Religion and
Education. After the war he fled to the USA via Ireland, where
Catholic Church authorities assured the government he was a refugee
from the Communists . Attempts at extradition failed in United States
courts until new legislation enabled his extradition to Yugoslavia in
1986. He was sentenced to death for war crimes but the sentence was
not carried out due to his age and health. He died in 1988.
* Miroslav Filipović-Majstorović , an
Ustaše infamous for his
command periods in Jasenovac and Stara-Gradiška, and a Franciscan
friar, known by the epithet Fra Satana (Brother Satan) was captured by
the Yugoslav communist forces, tried and executed in 1946; he was
wearing his priestly garb when he was hanged.
* Vjekoslav "Maks" Luburić was the commandant of the Ustaška
Ustaše 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 , where he was
assassinated by a former confederate in 1969.
Dinko Šakić fled to
Argentina , but was eventually extradited,
tried and sentenced in 1999 by Croatian authorities to 20 years in
prison; he died in 2008 in prison. His wife, Nada, who was also a camp
guard, was the sister of Maks Luburić. She evaded capture and
Argentina refused to extradite her. She faced no trial and served no
Petar Brzica was an Ustaša officer who, on the night of 29 August
1942, allegedly slaughtered over 1,360 people. Brzica's fellow Ustaše
took part in the competition of throat cutting. Brzica is also known
for having killed an inmate by beating him, on the departure of
administrator Ivica Matković , in March 1943. Brzica's post-war fate
and year of death are unknown.
Ljubo Miloš , ex-second in command of the Jasenovac concentration
camp and former commander of the Lepoglava prison, executed after the
war by Partisans.
* Ivica Matković , prominent Ustaša, executed by the Partisans.
LIST OF NOTABLE PRISONERS
Bolded names in CAPS indicate those that survived the camp and the
Petar Baćović ,
Julia Batino ,
Bitola -born Jewish antifascist and women's rights
Slavko Brill , Jewish sculptor and ceramics artist.
* ANTE CILIGA , Croatian politician, writer and publisher.
—Ciliga, a former Communist turned "ardent nationalist", was
released within a relatively period of time. Ciliga himself was quoted
as saying: "I was for the ustasha (sic) state, I was for the Croatian
state. And I defend that thesis. The ustasha (sic) state needed to be
reformed, not destroyed."
* NATKO DEVčIć , Croatian composer.
Zija Dizdarević , Bosnian Muslim writer and Partisan.
Pavle Đurišić ,
Mavro Frankfurter ,
Vinkovci chief rabbi.
* GRGO GAMULIN , Croatian art historian, university professor and
Izidor Gross , Jewish chess master and hazzan of the Karlovac
Boris Hanžeković , Croatian athlete; murdered by the guards
during the 22 April 1945 mass inmate breakout.
Slavko Hirsch , Jewish physician, founder and director of the
Epidemiological Institute in Osijek.
Žiga Hirschler , Jewish composer, music critic and publicist.
Daniel Kabiljo , Jewish artist.
* VLADKO MAčEK , Croatian politician; president of the Croatian
Peasant Party .
Mihovil Pavlek Miškina , Croatian poet, short story writer and
Edmund Moster , Jewish entrepreneur, industrialist and co-founder
of the "Penkala-Moster Company" (now TOZ).
Leo Müller , Jewish industrialist and entrepreneur.
Daniel Ozmo , Jewish painter and printmaker.
Rod Riffler , Jewish modern dance teacher, choreographer and owner
of a dance school in Zagreb.
Armin Schreiner , Jewish industrialist, banker and activist.
Vlado Singer , Croatian politician and member of the Ustaše
movement (a convert to Catholicism from Judaism).
Simon Ungar ,
Oton Vinski , Jewish banker.
Dragiša Vasić ,
Leib Weissberg ,
Slavonski Brod rabbi.
JASENOVAC MEMORIAL SITE AFTER 1990
Jasenovac monument by
Bogdan Bogdanović .
The Socialist Republic of
Croatia adopted a new law on the Jasenovac
Memorial Site in 1990, shortly before the first democratic elections
in the country.
Franjo Tuđman was elected for Croatia's president that year,
revisionist views on the concentration camp's history came into
prominence. The memorial's status was demoted to that of a nature
park, and its funding was cut. After
Croatia declared its independence
and exited the Yugoslav Federation in June 1991, the memorial site
found itself in two separate countries. Its grounds at Donja Gradina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina , which was then still part of
Simo Brdar, assistant director of the Jasenovac Memorial Site,
doubted that the Croatian authorities, dominated by nationalists, were
committed to preserve the artifacts and documentation of the
concentration camp. In August 1991, he transported some of the
materials to Bosnia and Herzegovina. As the
Yugoslav wars unfolded,
Croatian forces vandalized, devastated and looted the Jasenovac
Memorial Site and its museum during September 1991. They were driven
out from Jasenovac after a month by the Yugoslav People\'s Army .
Brdar returned to the site and collected what was left of the museum's
exhibits and documentation. He kept the collections until 1999, when
they were housed in the
Archives of Republika Srpska .
At the end of 2000, the collections were transferred to the United
Holocaust Memorial Museum , after an agreement with the
Republika Srpska . A year later, the USHMM transported
the collections to
Croatia and gave them to the Jasenovac Memorial
Site. Israeli President
Moshe Katsav visited Jasenovac in 2003, and
was the first Israeli head of state to officially visit the country.
In 2004, at the yearly Jasenovac commemoration, the Croatian
authorities presented new plans for the Jasenovac memorial site,
changing the concept of the museum as well as some of the content. The
director of the Memorial Site, Nataša Jovičić, explained how the
permanent museum exhibition would be changed to avoid provoking fear,
and cease displaying the "technology of death" (mallets, daggers,
etc.), rather it would concentrate on individualizing it with personal
stories of former prisoners. The German ambassador to
Croatia at the
time, Gebhard Weiss, expressed skepticism towards "the avoidance of
explicit photographs of the reign of terror".
New York City
New York City Parks Department, the
Holocaust Park Committee and
the Jasenovac Research Institute, with the help of former U.S.
Anthony Weiner (D-NY), established a public monument to
the victims of Jasenovac in April 2005 (the sixtieth anniversary of
the liberation of the camps.) The dedication ceremony was attended by
Holocaust survivors, as well as diplomats from Serbia,
Bosnia and Israel. It remains the only public monument to Jasenovac
victims outside of the Balkans. Annual commemorations are held there
The Jasenovac Memorial Museum reopened in November 2006 with a new
exhibition designed by the Croatian architect, Helena Paver Njirić,
and an Educational Center designed by the firm Produkcija. The
Memorial Museum features an interior of rubber-clad steel modules,
video and projection screens, and glass cases displaying artifacts
from the camp. Above the exhibition space, which is quite dark, is a
field of glass panels inscribed with the names of the victims. Helena
Paver Njirić won the first prize of the 2006
Salon for her work on the museum.
However, the new exhibition was described as "postmodernist trash" by
Efraim Zuroff , and criticized for the removal of all
instruments from the display and a lack of explanation of the ideology
that led to the crimes committed there in the name of the Croatian
Shimon Peres visited Jasenovac on 25 July 2010
dubbing it a "demonstration of sheer sadism".
On 17 April 2011, in a commemoration ceremony, former-Croatian
Ivo Josipović warned that there were, "attempts to
drastically reduce or decrease the number of Jasenovac victims ...
faced with the devastating truth here that certain members of the
Croatian people were capable of committing the cruelest of crimes, I
want to say that all of us are responsible for the things that we do."
At the same ceremony, then Croatian Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor
said, "there is no excuse for the crimes and therefore the Croatian
government decisively rejects and condemns every attempt at historical
revisionism and rehabilitation of the fascist ideology, every form of
totalitarianism, extremism and radicalism ... Pavelić's regime was a
regime of evil, hatred and intolerance, in which people were abused
and killed because of their race, religion, nationality, their
political beliefs and because they were the others and were
World War II
World War II portal
Jadovno concentration camp
* Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Anthropology, Human Heredity, and
List of Nazi-German concentration camps
List of Nazi-German concentration camps
* Research Materials: Max Planck Society Archive
Sisak children\'s concentration camp
Stara Gradiška concentration camp
World War II
World War II casualties
* ^ A B C Official website of the Jasenovac Memorial Site
* ^ A B
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
* ^ A B C D E F G Kolstø 2011 , pp. 226–41.
* ^ Ljiljana Radonić (2009), Heinz Fassmann; Wolfgang
Müller-Funk; Heidemarie Uhl, eds., "Krieg um die Erinnerung an das KZ
Jasenovac: Kroatische Vergangenheitspolitik zwischen Revisionismus und
europäischen Standards" (in German), Kulturen der Differenz-
Transformationsprozesse in Zentraleuropa nach 1989 (Göttingen: V&R
unipress): pp. 179
* ^ A B C D E Pavlowitch 2008 , p. 34.
* ^ Dedijer 1992 .
* ^ Tomasevich 2001 , p. 399.
* ^ Brietman (2005) , p. 204
* ^ A B Federal Bureau of Statistics in 1964; published in Danas ,
21 November 1989
* ^ Tomasevich 2001 , pp. 233–41.
* ^ Lemkin (2008) , pp 259, 625–26.
* ^ Lemkin (2008) , pp. 259, 613.
* ^ Lemkin (2008) , pp. 260, 626.
* ^ Lemkin (2008) , pp. 259, 626–27.
* ^ Tomasevich 2001 , pp. 383–84.
Aristotle Kallis . Genocide and Fascism: The Eliminationist
Drive in Fascist Europe, Routledge, New York, NY 2009, pp. 236–44.
* ^ Hilgruber, Staatsmanner und Diplomaten bei Hitler, p. 611.
* ^ Wansee, Nuremberg trail documents, NG-2568-G
* ^ Shelach et al., 1990 , pp. 166–71, 185–89, 192, 194–96,
* ^ Schwartz , p. 301
* ^ Shelach et al., 1990 , p. 195.
* ^ A.A. Nachlass Kasche, p. 105
* ^ Shelach et al., 1990 , pp. 207–339.
* ^ Shelach et al., 1990 , p. 153, n. 20
* ^ Shelach et al., 1990
* ^ Adolf Eichmann's Crimes in Yugoslavia: Facts and Views, pp.
* ^ M. Persen, Ustaski Logori, p. 97
* ^ A B Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, 1990 , pp. 739–40.
Bosnian Muslims in Jasenovac Concentration Camp—Congress of
Bosnian Intellectuals (October 2006,
Holocaust Studies), Sarajevo;
ISBN 978-9958-47-102-5 .
* ^ Schwartz , p. 329
* ^ Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, 1990 , "Jasenovac"
* ^ The bodies of prisoners executed by the Ustasa in Jasenovac
* ^ A B
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum . "Jasenovac".
Jewish Virtual Library
Jewish Virtual Library . Retrieved 25 April 2012.
* ^ State Commission, 1946 , pp. 30, 40–41.
* ^ Sindik (ed.) , pp. 40–41, 98, 131, 171.
* ^ See victim numbers .
* ^ A B "Jasenovac". Ushmm.org. Archived from the original on 16
September 2009. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
* ^ A B "Croatia" (PDF). Yad Vashem.
* ^ A B State Commission, 1946 , pp. 43-44.
* ^ State Commission, 1946 , p. 32
* ^ Tomasevich 2001 , p. 359.
* ^ Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, 1990 , p. 739
* ^ Schwartz , p. 299-300
* ^ Lazar Lukajc: "Fratri i Ustase Kolju", interview with Borislav
Seva, pp. 625–39.
* ^ State Commission, 1946 , pp. 19-20, 40.
* ^ Schwartz , pp. 299, 302–03, 306, 313, 315, 319–22.
* ^ State Commission, 1946 , pp. 20, 39 (testimonies: Hinko
Steiner, Marijan Setinc, Sabetaj Kamhi, Kuhada Nikola)
* ^ State Commission, 1946 , pp. 20–22
* ^ various examples in: Schwartz , pp. 299–301, 303, 307, and
many more examples therein
* ^ State Commission, 1946 , pp. 30-31
* ^ Schwartz , p. 308.
* ^ Compare with Elizabeta Jevric, "Blank pages of the holocaust:
Gypsies in Yugoslavia during World-war II", pp. 111–12, 120
* ^ Compare with Schwartz , pp. 299–303, 332
* ^ Schwartz , p. 313
* ^ A B Schwartz , p. 311
* ^ Schwartz , pp. 311-13
* ^ State Commission, 1946 , p. 20.
* ^ State Commission, 1946 , p. 20
* ^ Schwartz , p. 324
* ^ State Commission, 1946 , pp. 16-18.
* ^ State Commission, 1946 , pp. 23–24.
* ^ Marijana Cvetko testimony, New York Times, 3 May 1998. "War
crimes revive as Croat faces possible trial"
* ^ State Commission, 1946 , pp. 53–55.
* ^ See: Schwartz , who said that a father and his three sons were
killed for writing. The witness wrote his memories on a piece of paper
in tiny script and planted it in his shoe.
* ^ The bodies of Jasenovac prisoners floating in the
* ^ Shelach et al., 1990 , pp. 432–34.
* ^ Shelach et al., 1990 , pp. 192, 196.
* ^ Alan Greenhalgh. The Glass Half Full; ISBN 0-9775844-1-0 , p.
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Vrban admitted of his crimes: "Q. And what did you do with the
children A. The weaker ones we poisoned Q. How? A. We led them into a
yard... and into it we threw gas Q. What gas? A. Zyklon." (Qtd.
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