Jasenovac concentration camp

The Jasenovac concentration camp ( Croatian , Serbian : Logor Jasenovac , cyrillic : Логор Јасеновац , Yiddish : יאסענאוואץ , Hebrew : יסנובץ ) was the largest concentration camp in the Independent State of Croatia (NDH) during World War II . The camp was established by the regime Ustasha ( Ustaša ) in August 1941 and was dismantled in April 1945 . In Jasenovac, the greatest number of victims were the Serbs , whom Ante Pavelić considered the main opponents of the NDH. In the field also killed Jews , Slovenes , Roma , Bosniaks , 1 Communists , and a large number of partisans of Tito . 2

Jasenovac was a complex of five subfields, 3 spread over 240 km² on the banks of the river Sava . 4 The largest camp was at Jasenovac , 100 km southeast of Zagreb . 3 The complex also included extensive grounds in Donja Gradina directly across the Sava river, a camp for children in Sisak to the northwest, and the women ‘s concentration camp of Stara Gradiska , southeast.

The number of victims is strongly disputed by the lack of detailed documentation, partly due to the burning by the Croatian authorities of part of the camp documents in 1943 and 1945. 3 The minimum number commonly accepted is 85 000, without taking into account The 28,000 people who died on the way to the countryside or those killed in the surrounding area. 3 It is considered one of the cruelest death camps of all time. 5 If maximum estimates are true, these figures would make it the third in the world by number of victims. Various sources estimate that as many as 700,000 people were executed in it, 6 7 8 9 using the most bloodthirsty and perverse methods. 10 11 12

Establishment, form and administration of the field

Jasenovac represented the largest Nazi concentration camp in Croatia ; Directed by Miroslav Majstorović was closed on 22 April 1945. Unlike other camps, the prisoners were Serbs, implacable enemies of the philanthropic dictator of the Independent State of Croatia , Ante Pavelić .

Jasenovac was constituted by 5 subfields and 3 smaller fields, occupying a total of 240 km2 next to Sava river. The field, located a hundred kilometers from the Croatian capital, had rail access via the Zagreb-Belgrade line and was a triangular terrain surrounded by the rivers Sava , Una and Velika Struga, making it difficult for them to flee. Prisoners. 3 The often flooded shore of the Sava also facilitated the disappearance of the corpses. 3 Subfields were: 3

  • Brocice, which operated from August to December 1941.
  • Krapje, which operated during the same period as Brocice.
  • Ciglana, active from November 1941 at the end of April 1945. It contained an old brick factory and was the main center of the massacres.
  • Kozara, in operation between February 1942 and late 1945, was a field of work.
  • Stara Gradiska, originally a camp for political prisoners, operated between the summer of 1941 and April 1945.

The complex also included a children’s camp in Sisak (northwest) and a women’s camp in Stara Gradiska (southeast). It is estimated that 20 000 children were killed in Jasenovac 13 from some months to 14 years of age. Referring to Fig.

Until June 1943 the camp depended on Section III of the Ustacha espionage service, and then relied on the Public Security Office. 3 The security of the camp depended on the units of Maks Luburic, who, after sending to the camp to the serbian peasant population of the surroundings in September and October of 1941, constructed a garrison next to the field. 3

Treatment of prisoners

Similar to other extermination camps, on the arrival of the prisoners, the commanders in charge of slave labor selected those most suitable for work. 14 Those not considered suitable to become slave labor or who exceeded the capacity of the camp (3,000 prisoners) were led to the banks of the river Sava , where they were killed. 14 15

The cruelty of the killings in Jasenovac was enormous, especially during the late summer of 1942 , when about 10,000 Serb peasants were deported to the camp and the guards established a contest to kill the largest number of prisoners, cutting their necks and An established prize of a gold watch, silver cutlery, a roasted suckling pig and wine; The winner was Petar Brzica who reached 1,360 prisoners killed in a single day by slicing their throats with a special butcher knife called “srbosjec” 15 ( cortaserbios ). 16

The methods of assassination were extremely savage; Apart from the use of the “srbosjec”, large bonfires were carried out where the prisoners were thrown alive, they were beaten on the head with a huge and heavy hammer to death or thrown alive into the river Sava to die drowned. With regard to women, violations were common before they were executed.

Crimes outside the camp were carried out on the banks of the river Sava near the town of Gradina and also in the forests of Krapje, where some 360,000 prisoners were believed to have died; The remaining prisoners up to 600,154 were massacred in the cellars and the tower of an old military fort near the field and the river Sava.

Only in 2 occasions the slaughter of prisoners was reduced; One in February 1942 when a group of foreign journalists visited the camp before rumors of the crimes committed and another in June 1944 to receive a delegation of the Red Cross . Between December 1943 and August 1944, under the new administration of Ivica Brkljacic, the conditions of the prisoners improved somewhat, without stopping the massacres, but the flight of some returned the field to the previous situation. fifteen

The former head of the Yugoslav Secret Service, Vjekoslav Maks Luburić , trained in Auschwitz and visited other German concentration camps to learn the methods of extermination and apply them in Jasenovac; 3 after implementing mass murder systems and adding extreme brutalities to unimaginable perversions, Jasenovac was visited by the German general Von Horsteneau as the representative of Adolf Hitler in Zagreb , who wrote on the field defining it with this phrase: epitome of horror “and after the passage of the German driver stationed in Jasenovac, Arthur Hefner, this apparently defined as” one of the most horrible camps, only comparable to the hell of Dante “. The Luburic model was the Sachsenhausen concentration camp . 3 In Jasenovac III it is estimated that the death rate was higher than in the Auschwitz concentration camp (88% versus 84.6%). 3 The furnaces of the old factory were used by crematoria and sometimes received live victims. fifteen

In Jasenovac V, one was installed gas chamber where numerous prisoners were killed with sulfur dioxide and Zyklon B . 15 This method ended up being abandoned due to the poor construction of the chamber, most of the victims of this subfield were killed by famine, disease (mainly typhus ) or murder by poison, mace, knife, ax, etc. fifteen

According to documents evaluated by the Nuremberg Tribunal in 1946 , ” Jasenovac was killed with a club mallet at the nape of the neck, with a knife, with all kinds of forceful objects, by drowning, starvation, burning of living persons and drownings in pools of quicklime ‘. 17

After the liberation of Belgrade the 20 of October of 1944 by the Partisans, authorities began trying to remove evidence of the killings, sending gangs of prisoners to exhume mass graves to burn the bodies before being themselves Assassinated and replaced by new crews. 15 The number of prisoners fell by the end of 1944, although the camp continued to receive new remittances. 18

The 30 as March as 1945 , the Partisans began bombing the facilities of the field, causing no casualties among the prisoners. 18 The attacks continued in early April and the Ustacha authorities accelerated the massacres, killing about 2,000 on 21 April, four days before the arrival of the partisan units. 18 The Ustashe tried to remove all traces of their atrocities and burned nearly all buildings that could involve them in their crimes and documents. 18

General information

  • Foundation: 21 as August as 1941 .
  • Closing: 22 as April as 1945 . 18
  • Victims: Between 60 000 and 1 000 000. (various estimates) 19
  • Commanders: Maks Luburić and Dinko Šakić .

Subdivisions

  • Brocita
  • Ciglana (Jasenovac III)
  • Kozara (Jasenovac IV)
  • Krapje
  • Stara Gradiska (Jasenovac V)

Number of victims

The number of victims in the camp is controversial because of their partisan use of both Croats (aimed at minimizing the massacre) and Serbs (who magnified it to justify further action). Some of the different estimates are as follows:

  • 80 022 identified by name at the Holocaust Museum in Belgrade.
  • 69 842 according to the memory center for the victims of Jasenovac. 20 In a book published by the center, the name of 72 193 identified victims is included. twenty-one
  • 77 200 according to Antun Miletić, investigator of military archives, of which 41 936 Serbs 22
  • A report by the Gestapo to Heinrich Himmler , dated 17 of February of 1942 , certificaba: 23

“The increase in activity of the [rebels] gangs is mainly due to the atrocities committed by the Ustaše units in Croatia against the Orthodox population. Ustaši have committed their acts in a bestial way, not only against men, but especially against the elderly , Women and children defenseless.The number of Orthodox that the Croats have massacred and tortured sadistically until death is approximately three hundred thousand. ” 24

  • According to Radio Srbija , based on data from the State Commission of the former Yugoslavia and the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jasenovac killed at least 500,000 Serbs, 80,000 Roma, 35,000 Jews and about 10,000 antifascists of different nationalities. Referring to Fig.
  • Edmond Paris , French historian, estimates the death toll of more than 1,000,000 among Serbs, Jews, antifascists, gypsies and homosexuals. 25
  • For the historian John Cornwell , in which there was acquiescence of the Vatican with genocide, the figures are 487,000 Orthodox Serbs, Gypsies and 27 000 20 000 to 25 000 Jews. 26
  • Milan Bulajic , director of the Museum of Victims of Genocide in Belgrade , numbers around 700 000 victims of Jasenovac. 27
  • The historian and first president of the Republic of Croatia , Franjo Tuđman , declared that the victims were 60 000-70 000. 17
  • 85 000 according OPERATION: LAST CHANCE . 28
  • 77 000-99 000 according to the United States Holocaust Museum . 29

Holocaust Studies

The center Yad Vashem says that more than 500,000 Serbs were killed in the NDH, 30 including those who died in Jasenovac, where he claims they were killed about 600,000 people of all ethnic groups. The same figures are shared by the Simon-Wiesenthal Center.

Menachem Shelach and Israel Gutman claim in the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust :

“About 600,000 people were murdered in Jasenovac, mostly Serbs, Jews, Gypsies and opponents of the Ustase regime. The number of Jewish victims was between 20,000 and 25,000, most of which were killed until August 1942, when the Deportation of the Jews from Croatia to Auschwitz for their extermination. ” 31

On the other hand, however, from 2009 , the Holocaust Museum in Washington estimated that the Ustaša regime murdered between 66,000 and 99,000 people in Jasenovac between 1941 and 1945, and that during the period of government Ustasha, to a total of between 330,000 and 390,000 Serbs and more than 30,000 Jewish Croats. 32

List of positions with responsibilities

  • Ante Pavelic : having fled first to Argentina, took refuge in Spain , protected by the regime of Franco , and died in Madrid the 28 of December of 1959 . 33
  • Andrija Artuković : He fled to the USA. And was extradited to Croatia . 18 Sentenced to death, he died of natural causes awaiting execution in 1988. 18
  • Dinko Sakić : Captured in Argentina , he was extradited in 1998 and sentenced by a Croatian court to 20 years in prison. 18
  • Maks Luburić : Protected by the Franco regime, was killed by an agent of the Yugoslav secret service the 20 of April of 1969 . 18
  • Miroslav Filipović Majstorović (ex-priest): Arrested in 1946 and sentenced to death, he was executed that same year. 18
  • Petar Brzica : He escaped to the United States , where he lost track since the 1970s.

Tributes

After the war, a monument and a museum in memory of the victims were erected in the area. During the Croatian War of Independence ( 1991 – 1995 ) Croatian forces were systematically bombed, destroying the museum and archives concerning the camp. 34 Jewish survivors and war veterans denounced to the international community what they considered “the devastation of all documentation relating to genocide .” 34 The Yugoslav government denounced these facts before the United Nations , considering that its objective was “to erase the scene of the worst crime of genocide from the historical memory”. 3. 4

In April 2003 , Croatian President Stjepan Mesic apologized on behalf of Croatia with the victims of Jasenovac. In 2006 , he added that every visitor to Jasenovac should be clear that there were “holocaust, genocide and war crimes”. 35

In September 2009 , the Archbishop of Zagreb , Josip Bozanić , was the first cardinal of the Catholic Church to condemn the crimes of Jasenovac during a Mass celebrated at the place that occupied the camp:

“Here in Jasenovac we feel a deep sorrow for all the victims, especially those who suffered here and were killed by members of the Croatian people, and even by members of the Catholic Church” . 36

References

  1. Back to top↑ United States Holocaust Museum confirms that Muslims were also among the victims of Jasenovac [1]
  2. Back to top↑ Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, ed. In chief Israel Gutman, Macmillan, New York and London, 1990 – entry Jasenovac. (אקיקלופדיה של השואה: יאסנובאץ)
  3. ↑ Jump to:a b c d e f g h i j k l Levy (2009) , p. 823
  4. Back to top↑ Breitman, Richard; US Intelligence and the Nazis
  5. Back to top↑ Clarín « The Nazi Croatian who headed an extermination camp disappeared. »Posted on February 21, 2011
  6. Back to top↑ The Country « Memory of another ethnic cleansing» Accessed May 12, 2012
  7. Back to top↑ The Economist « Shimon Peres visits the Jasenovac camp, the” Croatian Auschwitz ” » Retrieved on May 12, 2012
  8. ↑ Jump to:a b c Radio Srbija. DAY IN MEMORY OF THE VICTIMS OF GENOCIDE IN THE SECOND WORLD WAR.
  9. Back to top↑ Internet Database « Another Nazi official reveals his identity and then flees » Retrieved on May 12, 2012
  10. Back to top↑ Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, ed. In chief Israel Gutman, Macmillan, New York and London, 1990 – entry Jasenovac. (אקיקלופדיה של השואה: יאסנובאץ)
  11. Back to top↑ Kimetz. Hell was in Jasenovac. Consulted the 17 of November of 2009.
  12. Back to top↑ The World. Croatia begins to “unearth” its dead from Jasenovac. Consulted the 17 of November of 2009.
  13. Back to top↑ Levy (2009) , p. 822
  14. ↑ Jump to:a b Dulić (2006) , p. 263
  15. ↑ Jump to:a b c d e f g Levy (2009) , p. 824
  16. Back to top↑ Bulajic, Milan. The Role of the Vatican in the Breakup of the Yugoslav State. (Belgrade, 1994) pp. 156-157.
  17. ↑ Jump to:a b The Nation. Another Nazi hierarch resides in Argentina.
  18. ↑ Jump to:a b c d e f g h i j Levy (2009) , p. 825
  19. Back to top↑ Federal Bureau of Statistics in 1964. Published in Newspaper Danas on November 21, 1989
  20. Back to top↑ http://web.archive.org/web/http://www.setimes.com/cocoon/setimes/xhtml/en_GB/features/setimes/articles/2007/01/08/reportage-01
  21. Back to top↑ Kolstø (2011) , p. 44
  22. Back to top↑ Anzulovic, Branimir. Heavenly Serbia: From Myth to Genocide, Hurst & Company. London, 1999
  23. Back to top↑ Balkan Peace. The Real Genocide in Yugoslavia.
  24. Back to top↑ PA, BŒŒro RAM, Kroatien, 1941-42, 442-449. IV / D / 4 RSHA (Gestapo) to Himmler, 17 February 1942.
  25. Back to top↑ Kimetz. Hell was in Jasenovac.
  26. Back to top↑ Alberto Treiyer. The Vatican and the Great Genocides of the 20th Century.
  27. Back to top↑ The World. Croatia begins to “unearth” its dead from Jasenovac.
  28. Back to top↑ http://www.operationlastchance.org/CROATIA_OLC%20Activities_1.htm
  29. Back to top↑ http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005449
  30. Back to top↑ Yad Vashem. Document in PDF.
  31. Back to top↑ Gutman, Israel. Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, vol.1, 1995, pp.739-740.
  32. Back to top↑ United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Jasenovac.
  33. Back to top↑ Levy (2009) , p. 826
  34. ↑ Jump to:a b c Messias Carbonell, Bettina. Museum studies: an anthology of contexts.
  35. Back to top↑ Hrvatska Radiotelevizija. [2] (broken link)
  36. Back to top↑ Terra News. Cardinal condemns for the first time crimes in Jasenovac concentration camp.