It was established in August in marshland at the confluence of the Sava and Una rivers near the village of Jasenovac , and was dismantled in April It was "notorious for its barbaric practices and the large number of victims". 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 , reflected the "conventional wisdom". 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. In their "17 Principles" they proclaimed that those who were not "of Croat blood" i.
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It was established in August in marshland at the confluence of the Sava and Una rivers near the village of Jasenovac , and was dismantled in April It was "notorious for its barbaric practices and the large number of victims". 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 , reflected the "conventional wisdom". 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.
In their "17 Principles" they proclaimed that those who were not "of Croat blood" i. Serbs and Jews , will not have any political role in the future Croat state. The regime rapidly issued a decree restricting the activities of Jews and seizing their property. It was soon followed by a decree prohibiting the use of the Cyrillic script , which was an integral part of the rites of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
Jews and Roma. The decrees were enforced not only through the regular court system, but also through new special courts and mobile courts-martial with extended jurisdiction. Actions against Jews began immediately after the Independent State of Croatia was founded.
We need to keep our blood clean of the Jews". They also wrote that Jews are synonymous with "treachery, cheating, greed, immorality and foreigness", and therefore "wide swaths of the Croatian people always despised the Jews and felt towards them natural revulsion". Many other mass killings soon followed.
People were captured like beasts. Slaughtered, killed, thrown live into the abyss. Women, mothers with children, young women, girls and boys were thrown into pits. The vice-mayor of Mostar, Mr. Serb Orthodox Christians] were thrown into one pit. Everyone was tossed and killed. In the Klepci parish, from the surrounding villages, 3, schismatics were killed. Poor souls, they were calm. I will not enumerate further. I would go too far. In the city of Mostar, hundreds were tied up, taken outside the city and killed like animals.
The Croatian historian, Zdravko Dizdar, estimates that some 5, inmates passed through the Danica camp, mostly Serbs but also Jews and Croat Communists. Of the 3, Danica inmates Dizdar was able to trace by name, he found that 2,, i. Thus the likely death toll for these camps is around 24,, although some sources put it as high as 40, They found multiple death pits and mass graves, in which they estimated some 12, victims were killed. At Slana Concentration Camp on the island of Pag they dug up one mass grave, with nearly corpses, of whom half were women and children, the youngest being 5 months old.
The majority of these victims were Serbs, but among them were also 2,, Jews. On 10 April , the Independent State of Croatia was established, supported by Nazi Germany and fascist Italy, and it adopted similar racial and political doctrines.
Jasenovac was located in the German occupation zone of the Independent State of Croatia. The 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 there are no more Jews in Europe, nothing will hold the unification of the European nations 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. At the Wannsee Conference , Germany offered the Croatian government transportation of its Jews southward, but questioned the importance of the offer as "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 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. 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 to Jasenovac.
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 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". The Nazis revisited the possibility of transporting Jews to 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.
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. Jadovno was operational from May 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 and February The largest number of victims were Serbs, but victims also included Jews, Roma or "gypsies" , as well as some dissident Croats and Bosnian Muslims i.
Upon arrival at the camp, the prisoners were marked with colors, 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. 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.
Serbs constituted the majority of inmates in Jasenovac. In many municipalities around the NDH , warning posters declared that any Serb who did not convert to Catholicism would be deported to a concentration camp. In some cases, inmates were immediately killed upon acknowledging Serbian ethnicity, and most considered it to be the sole reason for their imprisonment. The exact number of Serbian casualties in Jasenovac is uncertain, but the lowest common estimates range around 60, people, and is one of the most significant parts of overall Serbian casualties of World War II.
Jews, the primary target of Nazi genocide, were the second-largest category of victims of Jasenovac. The number of Jewish casualties is uncertain, but ranges from about 8,  to almost two thirds of the Croatian Jewish population of 37, meaning around 25, Most of the executions of Jews at Jasenovac occurred prior to August Thereafter, the NDH deported 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. 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. Around 20, Serb, Jewish and Roma children perished at Jasenovac. 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. Dike construction work was the most feared. 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 activists would form resistance movements and groups, steal food, plot escapes and revolts, contacts with the outside world. All inmates suffered psychological trauma to some extent: obsessive thoughts of food, paranoia, delusions, day-dreams, lack of self-control.
Such deeds were perilous, since writing was punishable by death and tracking dates was extremely difficult. In the late summer of , tens of thousands of ethnic Serb villagers were deported to Jasenovac from the Kozara region in Bosnia , where NDH forces were fighting the Partisans. Children were either murdered or dispersed to Catholic orphanages.
On the night of 29 August , 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, new arrivals. Ultimately, he cut out the old man's eyes, tore out his heart, and slashed his throat. It was a curved, centimetre-long 4.
The knife was fastened to a bowed oval copper plate, while the plate was fastened to a thick leather bangle. The knife was fixed on the glove plate to prevent injuries and to increase work speed. 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.
Jasenovac concentration camp
The book also includes a forty- page introduction, ninety-seven photographs and a thirty-seven page appendix of never-before-translated documents. The thirty chapters cover all aspects of the Holocaust in Yugoslavia and especially fascist Croatia. Allen, Jr. Barry M.
ISBN 13: 9780975343210