MIROSLAV FILIPOVIć (5 June 1915 – 1946), also known as TOMISLAV
FILIPOVIć and TOMISLAV FILIPOVIć-MAJSTOROVIć, was a Croatian Nazi
World War II in Yugoslavia
During the war, Filipović was convicted of war crimes by a German military court, but then released to officiate in a prison camp. In 1946, after the defeat of the Ustaše, a Yugoslav civil court executed him by hanging.
* 1 Early life * 2 Ustaša chaplain
* 3 Responsibilities at the Jasenovac camps complex
* 3.1 Appointment * 3.2 Commandant of Jasenovac * 3.3 Commandant of Stara Gradiška
* 4 Post-war * 5 See also * 6 References * 7 Sources
Filipović's date of birth was 5 June 1915, but little else about his
early years has been recorded. In 1938 he joined the
In 1941, following establishment of the Independent State of Croatia
(NDH), a puppet state installed by the
Filipović (later known as Tomislav Filipović-Majstorović) was assigned to II Poglavnik Bodyguard Battalion. Statements by two eyewitnesses and a senior German general say that on 7 February 1942, Filipović accompanied elements of his battalion in an operation aimed at wiping out Serbs in the settlement of Drakulić, on the northern outskirts of Banja Luka, and in two neighbouring villages, Motike and Šargovac . A few Serbs survived, but overwhelmingly the operation achieved its objective; more than 2,300 Serb civilians – men, women and children – were killed, usually with axes or pick-axes.
Reports sent to Eugen
Dido Kvaternik , head of the state internal
security service, from his
Filipović was court-martialed by the Germans for his involvement,
possibly at the request of the Italian army which was then occupying
part of the ISC territory. In his testimony to a Croatian state
commission set up after
World War II
However, General Edmund Glaise-Horstenau , the senior German officer in the region, implicated Filipović in a report where he stated that as well as being present "during the slaughtering" the priest had attended a planning meeting prior to the massacres, along with certain other Catholic priests. He reported that the Ustaša's former city chief in Banja Luka, Viktor Gutić , and the city's court president, a Dr Stilinović, were also at the meeting.
On 4 April 1942, Filipović was reportedly suspended from his
chaplaincy post by the papal legate in Zagreb and jailed in Croatia.
There is no evidence that he was excommunicated by the Catholic
Church, but he was reportedly removed from the
RESPONSIBILITIES AT THE JASENOVAC CAMPS COMPLEX
Through the direct intervention of Vjekoslav "Maks" Luburić , who then headed Section III of the ISC internal security service (Ustaška Narodna Služba), which was responsible for administering the puppet state's system of prison camps, Filipović was quickly released and posted to the Jasenovac complex of labour and death camps where he was at first an inmate with benefited status, who aided the Ustase, and later appointed Ustase, commanding a small transit camp nigh Jasenovac, in early 1942, he reportedly killed an inmate there for hiding a loaf of bread.
Shortly thereafter he became chief-guard, responsible for mass-executions and lieutenant of the commander Ljubo Miloš and administrator Ivica Matković , and later, on 10 June 1942, administrator of the main camp in their stead, until the return of Matković, in March 1942. Luburić gave Filipović a new surname, "Majstorović", derived from a local word meaning "master" or "craftsman". From then on documents referred to him sometimes by that name and sometimes as Filipović-Majstorović. He won an apparent bet placed by him, Marinko Polić and Jerko Maričić, both infamous NCOs in the camp. Witness Josip Riboli stated:
“ Majstorović, Polić and Maricić competed over which of them was a better butcher. Victims had to kneel in front of them until they were touching their foreheads to the ground, and the executioners would fire their revolvers at the backs of their heads. If death wasn't instant, one of them would grab a knife and slit the victim's throat. ”
Another particularly vicious killing was described by the former Jewish prisoner, Egon Berger, in his book, "44 months in Jasenovac":
“ "The priestly face of Fra Majstorovic, all made-up and powdered, dressed in an elegant suit an green hunter's hat, watched with delight the victims. He approached the children, even stroked their heads. The company was joined 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 Fr 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 the first to stick a dagger in a child." ”
COMMANDANT OF JASENOVAC
After the war Filipović admitted that he had personally killed about 100 prisoners and had attended mass executions of many more. He estimated that under his command some 20-30,000 prisoners were murdered at the main Jasenovac camp. He said prisoners would often be made to stand in prepared trenches where each was then killed with a sledgehammer blow. He went on to describe his tenure in command of Stara Gradiška, a prison camp primarily for women which was designated Camp V within the Jasenovac system:
“ I Stara Gradiška from the end of October 1942 until 27 March 1943. During that time mass liquidations were performed, usually outside the camp, for instance in Mlaka and Jablanac, but some were sent off to Jasenovac too. Such large transports for liquidations were carried out by the order of Matković Ivica (i.e. Ivica Matković ), and in this way 2-3,000 people were sent away. On 16 April 1945 I returned to Jasenovac, where I stayed until the end. I know that at the time corpses of prisoners from Gradina were being exhumed and burned, in order to cover up traces of what had been done. I didn't participate in the liquidation of the last prisoners, but only in exhumation. ”
After hearing from 62 Jasenovac survivors, whom it listed usually
with complete addresses, the war-crimes commission in 1946 counted
Filipović among 13
In one of the first published memoirs about life and death in the Jasenovac complex, a Croatian medical doctor and academic, Dr Nikola Nikolić, who had been imprisoned in Camp III, described his first meeting with Filipović: “His voice had an almost feminine quality which was at odds with his physical stature and coarse face”. Nikolić recalled standing in the second row of a group of prisoners who had been lined up to watch as another group of prisoners were herded in front of Filipović, who summoned Nikolić to the front so that, as a doctor, he could witness “our surgery being performed without anaesthetic”. Filipović then shot dead two prisoners and told a colleague to “finish off the rest”.
Nikolić quotes another survivor, Josip Riboli:
“ Compared with Matković and Miloš, whose faces revealed the baseness of their inner natures, Filipović Majstorović seemed kind and gentle - except when the slaughtering was going on. Then he was incomparable. He was the leader of all the mass killings at Gradina. He went off to conduct the slaughtering every night and came back covered with blood." ”
Riboli also gave evidence to the Croatian war-crimes commission.
According to the accounts of some survivors, Filipović continued to
act as a chaplain while commanding the camp and sometimes wore his
In September 1944, Filipović, along with Dinko Šakić and others, was appointed to sit on an ad hoc court-martial convened to try prisoners accused of forging links with the partisans and plotting an escape. The Croatian War Crimes Commission in its report was at a loss to explain why such a process had been deemed necessary when Ustaše had already killed thousands of people “by heinous means, without any justification or procedure”. It reported that all 31 accused prisoners were hanged after undergoing severe torture including blindings, crushed fingers and blow-lamp burns. Filipović in his testimony said: “We didn't investigate anything, we only signed the verdicts.”
COMMANDANT OF STARA GRADIšKA
As chief of camp Stara Gradiška, which predominantly housed women and children, Miroslav Filipović-Majstorović excelled in sadism. A Jewish survivor of Jasenovac, Egon Berger, described Filipović's sadistic killing of Serbian children, while, according to two other witnesses, Simo (or Sime) Klaić and Dragutin Škrgatić: Klaić recalls that in Christmas 1942, Miroslav ordered mass and later a muster, where he killed four inmates with a knife, while forcing a Jew of Sarajevo, Alkalaj, to sing, then ordering Alkalaj to near him, stabbing him in the chest and slashing his throat. Then he killed 56 Bosnian Jews by tying them with wire, hitting them with an axe so they all fell into a well. Then he shot around 40 Bosniak villagers in the head. Škrgatić confirmed that Filipović shot the villagers in the head after mass, adding:
"In Majstorović's time, musters and executions were frequent. Friar Majstorović favored a mystical approach to the killings.... After he killed them, sat on a chair and said 'justice has been done'".
Ivan Placec, a witness, added that Filipović shot nine inmates that day for an escape attempt. Josip Erlih also viewed a similar occasion, when, he claimed, eight inmates were shot by Filipović.
In 1946 Filipović stood trial in Belgrade for war crimes. He gave
evidence consistent with his statement to the Croatian war-crimes
commission, admitting his participation in some crimes and denying
involvement in others. He was found guilty, sentenced to death and
hanged , wearing the robes of the
* ^ A B C Michael Phayer. The Catholic Church and the Holocaust, 1930–1965. Bloomington, Indiana : Indiana University Press. 2000. pp. 34, 237. ISBN 0-253-21471-8 .
* ^ Darko Stuparić, Tko je tko u NDH: Hrvatska 1941-1945, Minerva, Zagreb: 1997, pg. 114 Zahtjev je usvojen te je Filipović isključen iz franjevačkog reda 10. VII. 1942, kada gubi i pravo na ime fra Tomislav. * ^ Jure G. Kristo, Sukob simbola: politika, vjere i ideologije u Nezavisnoj Državi Hrvatskoj, Nakladni zavod Globus, 2001; ISBN 953-167-133-8 ; pg. 105
* ^ Lazar Lukajić, Fratri i ustaše kolju (Friars and
* ^ Milan Bulajić, "Ustaški zločini genocida i suđenje Andriji Artukoviću 1986. godine", Izdavačka radna organizacija "Rad", 1988, pg. 832 Pop Majstorović-Filipović se pojavio jednog dana u mantiji i s velikim krstom na lancu, opasan širokim opasačem-kaišem, na kojem je bio zataknut prilično veliki bodež ... * ^ Egon Berger testimony: 44 mjeseca u Jasenovu, Nakladni zavod Hrvatske, Zagreb: 1966, pg. 57:
Svećeničko lice fra Majstorovića, obučenog u elegantno odijelo, našminkanog i napudranog, u zelenom lovačkom šeširu, sa nasladom je posmatralo žrtve. Prišao je djeci, čak ih je i pomilovao po glavi. Društvu se priključio Ljubo Miloš i Ivica Matković. Fra Majstorović reče majkama sada će biti krštenje njihove djece. Oduzeli su majkama djecu, a dijete koje je nosio fra Majstorović u svojoj dječijoj nevinosti milovalo je našminkano lice svoga ubojice. Majke, izbezumljene, uočile su situaciju. Nude svoje živote tražeći milost za mališane. Dvoje djece su metnuli na zemlju, dok je treće bačeno kao lopta u zrak, a fra Majstorović, držeći u ruci bodež okrenut prema gore tri puta je promašio, dok je četvrti put uz šalu i smijeh, dijete ostalo nataknuto na bodež. Majke su se bacale po zemlji čupajući kose a kad su počele strahovito vikati, ustaški straž