21 Aug 2006
Jasenovac and the Holocaust in Yugoslavia
Keywords: Jasenovac, Yugoslavia,
Full title: Jasenovac and the Holocaust in Yugoslavia
Summary: From August 1941 to April 1945, hundreds of thousands of Serbs, Jews, and Romas, as well as anti-fascists of many nationalities, were murdered at the death camp known as Jasenovac. Estimates of the total numbers of men, women and children killed there range from 300,000 to 700,000. And yet, despite the scale of the crimes committed there, most of the world has never heard of Jasenovac.
Message: From August 1941 to April 1945, hundreds of thousands of Serbs, Jews, and Romas, as well as anti-fascists of many nationalities, were murdered at the death camp known as Jasenovac. Estimates of the total numbers of men, women and children killed there range from 300,000 to 700,000. And yet, despite the scale of the crimes committed there, most of the world has never heard of Jasenovac.
Following the Nazi invasion and dismemberment of Yugoslavia in April 1941, the "Independent State of Croatia" was established as a pro-Nazi government. It was dedicated to a clerical-fascist ideology influenced both by Nazism and extreme Roman Catholic fanaticism. On coming to power, the Ustashe Party dictatorship in Croatia quickly commenced on a systematic policy of racial extermination of all Serbs, Jews and Romas living within its borders.
Jasenovac was actually a complex of five major and three smaller "special" camps spread out over 240 square kilometers (150 square miles) in south-central Croatia. Along with hundreds of thousands of Serbs, some 25,000 Jews and at least 30,000 Romas were murdered in these camps. The names of some 20,000 murdered children of all three nationalities collected thus far by historians provides only a hint of the scale of the crimes committed there against children. Jasenovac is also known for having been one of the most barbaric death camps of the Holocaust for the extreme cruelty in which its victims were tortured and murdered. Jasenovac was not the only death camp in fascist occupied Yugoslavia, but it was by far the largest and the one in which a majority of the some one million victims of racial genocide in World War II fascist Croatia were exterminated.
But its significance also lies in the way in which the crimes have been concealed. Historians have called Jasenovac "the dark secret of the Holocaust" and "the suppressed chapter of Holocaust history." Public recognition of the tragedy that occurred there has been suppressed either partially or completely by governments and institutions for a variety of reasons. Today Jasenovac is located in the newly created state of Croatia, whose government has vandalized the site and refused to acknowledge the horrors that took place there. The failure of some leading Western academic and humanitarian institutions to fully recognize the historic dimensions of Jasenovac is a shameful omission that will tarnish their reputations forever.
But the enormity of the crimes committed at Jasenovac, the fact that the majority of the victims were Serbs who were killed simply for being Serbs, and the fact that the perpetrators included the Catholic Church, have made it an extraordinary and explosive issue that Holocaust deniers and historical revisionists cannot successfully manipulate for long should we focus all of our energies on bringing the truth to light. In doing so, we shall also unravel the whole ball of lies told about the history of Yugoslavia.
To shed some light on the history of Jasenovac and on the Holocaust in Yugoslavia a new book has been published and is available now. The book “Jasenovac and the Holocaust in Yugoslavia: Analyses and Testimonies” edited by Mr. Barry M. Lituchy, and published by the Jasenovac Research Institute, deals with the genocides perpetrated against Serbs, Jews and Romas in Yugoslavia during World War II.
As scholarship and awareness of the Holocaust grew rapidly in the 1990’s, information on Jasenovac and the genocides perpetrated against Serbs, Jews and Romas in Yugoslavia during World War II was absent from this discussion. This neglect posed some troubling questions. How could the subject of Jasenovac be absent from public and scholarly attention at the very moment when discussion of genocide, war crimes and human rights in the Balkans were on the front pages of every newspaper, and in the pronouncements of every Holocaust and human rights institution and government in the world? How could any serious public discussion of genocide in the former Yugoslavia begin without the necessary historical context?
In 1997 Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, New York hosted a conference on Jasenovac and the Holocaust in Yugoslavia. The results of that conference are presented here for the first time in an accurate and authorized edition, prepared in cooperation with the authors.
This book contains thirty chapters including a 40 page introduction. There are fifteen chapters by historians including Christopher Simpson, Michael Berenbaum, Antun Miletic, Eli Rosenbaum, Charles R. Allen, Jr., and others, along with fifteen chapters of unique Holocaust testimonies by Jasenovac and other concentration camp Survivors. There are 97 photographs, 30 pages of appendices with never before translated documents, maps, a twelve page double columned index with detailed entries, 27 biographical entries on contributors, and discussion of secondary source literature. The entire book is annotated and expertly prepared. This book provides one of the most extensive and accurate presentations of the subject in the English language ever produced.
To order, send a check or money order for $32 US (for paperback) or $37 US (for hardcover), (includes shipping and handling) payable to:
Jasenovac Research Institute
PO Box 10-0674
Brooklyn, NY 11210 USA
The book can also be purchased on-line at Jasenovac by clicking on "financial support" and then going to "make a donation" and using paypal.