After Hitler brought Ante Pavelic to power in the First Independent State of Croatia, a puppet state created on April 10th, 1941, Pavelic created 34 “summary” courts throughout Croatia that June. He empowered every Croatian to arrest and kill Serbians without being charged with a crime. Any Croat could sit on these “courts,” including former convicts who issued arrest warrants and passed out death sentences. Mobile court units roamed the countryside in which Serbs were arrested, tried, convicted and hanged—within hours. Numerous photographs of this period show thousands of Serbs hanging from trees and lamp posts throughout Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Not a single person was brought to justice for these crimes against humanity. While the crimes of Jasenovac have finally, after 55 years, become the subject of discussion at an American college, it is paramount that we do not over-emphasize Jasenovac, as the vast majority of Serbian victims in the Holocaust were eliminated without being prisoners of any death camp, and were spared the grotesque deaths at camps like Jasenovac where victims were bludgeoned to death to save bullets, or worse, slowly dismembered, body part by body part, to the pleasure of their tormentors.
Only 87 victims out of hundreds of thousands survived to tell this grotesque story. This monograph contains eye witness accounts of more than 40 people and it includes details about 47 Roman Catholic priests who perpetrated in these war crimes. Over 1,000 Roman Catholic priests personally murdered tens of thousands of Serbs, Jews and Gypsies, then escaped Croatia at the end of the war through the “Vatican Ratline” to Argentina where they escaped justice. One survivor describes Jasenovac as: “...there is not a pen capable of describing the horror and terror of the atmosphere at Jasenovac. It surpasses any human fantasy. Imagine Hell, the Inquisition, a terror more dreadful than any that ever before existed anywhere, run by bloodthirsty wild animals whose most hidden and disgusting instincts had come to the surface in a way never before seen in human beings—and still you have not said enough.”
The author lost 17 members of his family who were burned to death in the Serbian Orthodox church in Vojnic, Croatia by Croatian priests and their Nazi collaborators. In the current dismemberment Civil Wars of Yugoslavia during the 1990’s he lost the last five relatives of his name who were too old and too sick to flee Operation Storm in August, 1995 when nearly 230,000 Serbs were ethnically cleansed from Croatia—these last five relatives were found a month later with their throats slit.
This monograph and a speech by the author were presented at Kingsborough College, NY in October, 1997 at the first symposium on the Jasenovac Concentration Camp held at any teaching institution in the world.