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The World Must Know...

CinePro video documentary:


Ljubo Jednak talks:

  AUGUST 1995  

Saturday morning comes. 5a.m. In ten minutes some thirty of those highly destructive shells fall. We run to cellars and shelters. But you cannot hide - not even in cellars - you are afraid it will collapse on you.

Then, suddenly it is dawn. They are shelling, shelling there close to the factory but miss and destroy one home near the hospital. Around 11a.m. someone from [Serb] Territorial Defense comes and says that he was sent from the head quarters, and that I should run wherever I can.

"Why wherever? What? What is happening" I replied.

"Get out of Glina and go to Buzeta or Klasic [village]."

"No, I will not go anywhere. I will stay with our army."

"No, go - run wherever you know. Run."

"I don't know what will happen with the army. You should leave! Run wherever you can. If they [new Croat Nazis] catch you, they will skin you alive. Run!"

I tell my wife and my daughter-in-law, "Let us run." What could I do? Everything I owned remained. We had some houses, some [agricultural] machines... well everything. You took nothing, nothing other than this - whatever clothes you had on. Run, run out of Glina. Everyone left. In two hours no one remained. Four columns formed on the highway.

Three quarters of Glina's inhabitants were Serbs and the last quarter Croats. They were frontier men with us. We intermarried. We had no hate for them. How many times people wondered - "So you do not hate Croats?" Why, there are good people among them, too [I would answer]. We will not always talk about the war. Damned are the wars.

Some old lady said (that was in 1991) she just could not sleep. Why is that? She went to the post office and saw couple of trucks stopped in front of the Croatian church. They took out some yard-long chests -- some six or seven chests. It all lasted some ten minutes. They brought weapons to their church. But no-one dared come to me and say, "Hey Ljuban, this is what will come out of Croats," -- that they will have this anti-Christian organization. Today they have the same organization, but you will not hear a peep about it from them [from common Croats]. Never.


World War two footage shows Ustashas at Zagreb's main square giving an oath of loyalty to their fuhrer ("Poglavnik" = headman in Ustasha lingo) Dr. Ante Pavelic. An Ustasha speaker narrates:

"I am giving my word of honor in front of the all-Mighty God. I swear by everything that is dear to me, that I will uphold the Ustasha principles, and I will obey the rules and devotedly execute the orders of Poglavnik [Croat Nazi fuhrer]. I will most carefully keep any secret given to me, and I will reveal it to no one."

Mr Jednak continues:

I cannot remember which year was the law suit against [Archbishop] Stepinac [the Ustasha spiritual leader]... He was there July 27 [1941] in Topusko, in Kordun [at Ustasha oath ceremony]. Right next day they [the Ustashas] started aresting people. What he said there we do not know. Not one Serb was allowed to be present.

There was one [Croat] Tomo in my birth village of Gornje Seliste. That time, the night before we tried to run away, we talked to him. I said "Tomo, what is happening?" "Oh, do not be afraid Jednak's. You are one honest family. I will protect you. Do not be afraid."

When the next day came, they [Ustashas] spilled across the [Serb] villages, but Tomo kept saying do not run anywhere. I kept saying to my family, though: "Do not trust Tomo. He was an emigrant with [Ustasha fuhrer] Pavelic [in fascist Italy]."

So we run across some swamps, and they shoot at us. Listen, you just hear [the bullet] whistling by. We run as hard as we can and finally we pass Glina to Grdjani [village] where I used to live. My wife says, "They were asking for you and your father."

"Who was asking?"

"Ustahas did. They came twice."

"You know what," I said. "I do not know where to go or what to do." We have no organization. We have nothing. So I said, "Why don't you dig a pit there under the manure? We will put boards above, and I will hide there." She does it. I lie down but the manure stinks so much I cannot endure it there. So, I say, "Why don't you dig a pit under a hay stack?" She does. I crawl in but I cannot stay there either. The night is falling, so I say I will go to the pea garden. I am hiding in the peas but I see it will not work. The night is falling so I say I will go somewhere. Where will I go? I'll go to Bovic [village].

I was only a half-mile from home when I stumble on Ustashas coming on the same road. They stopped. "Where are you going?" I say, "To Bovic." They say "Sit on this carriage. We are going to Topusko." They were actually in a pillage spree.

When we got half-way to Topusko, their horses got tired so they stopped. They left the horses, and I had to go with them. At the entrance of Topusko, there is one large inn. Ustashas are singing inside. They are breaking glasses.

I say to one Ustasha, Marko Tonkovic, I know him so well before from the village of Vidosevac: "Let us get one plum brandy." "Oh, no" he says, "we have plum brandy for free as much as we want. We will not drink here." So, we get to Topusko crossroads. There a few Ustasha guards are waiting.

"what shall we do with him?" they [my captors] ask.

"Take him to the town house."

I think they will bring me to the church but Topusko church is also filled with people. They bring me to the town house.

There are a few of us in the town house and one hour later they start to bring more people from Kordun [Krajina]. They push thirty, forty people in those small rooms. The Ustashas then say: "Get out and form a queue." Okay. We do. Then they say that one by one everyone should get back to the town office. They severely beat everyone in there and then bring them back to the queue.

As the night is approaching, lorries come. They shove us, pack us in them. I ask Stanko Zuzic, who had some lands close to ours, what was happening. He just continues shoving us in. I ask Djuro Unkovic, but he took the hat from my head and hit me over the head twice with a whip. "I do not know anyone" he says. But he was at our house so many times -- ate with us...

Well the time came that you are not to know a Serb.

One, then two, three, four trucks come. They cram us in. I think they will murder us in the large forest that lies between Topusko and the Toplicka railroad station. They do not. They bring us to the railroad station and push us in the wagons. They are cattle wagons. They push, push, push us into those rail wagons - some 150 or 160 of us into one. You cannot even breathe. We are pressed like that until the dawn. The dawn comes. Wagons are getting hooked together.

I say, "They are taking us to Glina." "No," [says someone] "They are taking us to Lika [Krajina] to do some forced work."

But, I knew that area well as I lived close to Glina.

We get to Glina. They stop the train. There is a swarm of Ustasha so many of them - like ants. They are waiting for us. "Out, out, out! Two and two. Hold hands!"

You are not allowed to look anywhere but straight ahead. Every pair of us is accompanied by two Ustashas - one standing on each side.

Some three people do not want to get out of the wagons. They shoot them there and leave them in the wagons.

They bring our large column to the [Serbian] church. We are standing there afraid to look anywhere aside. The two Ustashas that are guarding you each has a knife on his rifle.

One Ustasha (Vidakovic Nikica) tells another (Dezalic) to go to the Croat priest and get the key of the church so that these "corpses" can be locked in. He does it. How the Croatian priest had a key to the Serbian church, I do not know.

They throw us in the church. "Get in, get in. Get in." They push us in, as many of us as they can. They lock the church and leave.

We wonder - what will happen? Some say we will be brought to forced labor in Lika [Krajina]. The church is filled with people. We think - we are finished! Some people silently cry. Other people brought with them two loaves of bread. Some brought fried chicken, meat. There you are -- duped people! Around 9 o'clock a few of Ustashas get in and ask: "Are you thirsty?" One Ustasha is ordered to bring water. They bring two buckets of water and leave them close to the entrance. You cannot even drink that water you are so beaten up.

They came in two hours again. "Get up!" Someone can, some cannot. They take people's names. This because they are to be paid 100 dinars for every head they slaughter. They want to have a record of how many people they will slaughter.

They take first and last names, as many as they can and they leave again.

In the afternoon they return and ask: "Who of you is Pero Miljevic?"

"I am Pero Miljevic."

"Do you Pero know anything about Chetniks? We will let you go home."

"I know some Ratkovic, an accountant, the one from Glina who was killed. He was with Chetniks."

"Are you from that organization?"

"No, I am not."

The Ustashas cut some two yards of that heavy rope used for the church bell and beat him badly with it then leave.

Later in the afternoon they return. They rip and slice the church icons, beat people.

"Is any of you converted [to Catholicism]? We will let you go."

No one answers. Then some Pajo, notary from Topusko, and some Adam Korac answer, and they let them go. They leave again.

Then some ten of them get back and ask whether anyone has money. "We will buy you things. After that you will be sent to Lika to forced labor. Do not fear. Whoever wants to get out is free to do so."

Whoever volunteered is hit by an Ustasha riffle butt, in the spine - as hard as they can.

They get in with the night: "Light the candles!"

The candles cannot burn with so many people in the church. You light it - it folds over and falls. The Ustashas then start throwing the priest's candle sticks and start hitting people with it. They hit over the heads. You try to hide your head into other people. The Ustashas curse our Serbian mothers and step, just step, over people.

"Get up!" they shout. We are up. They bring more (live) people with their trucks. Shove in, shove in. Shove in as much as they can. No more can fit in.

You loose sense of time... It is night. Then: "Get everything off!" We take shoes off and all we can...

It is calm again. Then again: "Who of you is Pero Miljevic?"

"It's me." he says again.

"Tell us more of what you know about Chetniks. We will let you go home."

"I do not know anything else."

As he said that he was hit right then by a knife. He was as if cut in half.

Ljubo Jednak
He was as if cut in half

Stojan Bajic, from Kordun says: "I know something about Chetniks. Will you let me go?... We were cutting telephone polls between Kameni Most and Kladusa."

"Are you listed as Chetnik?"


"Turn your neck."

He does. They cut his throat and say: "Sing!"

How could he sing? His blood is spraying two yards away. That Ustasha then curses the victim's Serbian mother and jumps to cut more of his neck. So it is. He is cut more. Finished.

The rest of us are watching this. But something inside of me tells me that I will stay alive.

Then, listen, when they slaughter those first two, they start slaughtering, slaughtering, slaughtering -- next and next and next -- and take them away. The blood is flowing through the church.

Only around ten of us are left. I somehow jump into the altar -- a few of us, and one lies there next to the wall. He hides. I jump behind some small cupboard and hide among the already slaughtered. So I was lying down -- lying. Blood is flowing underneath my lips and down all to the knees.

One Ustasha goes among the slaughtered and stabs the already slaughtered with his knife. He gets to me. He puts his foot on my back. Another Ustasha kicked me in the head: "Fuck their Serbian mothers. They are all slaughtered. Not one is alive."

Then they come closer to the hidden one.

"Ooooh, I am still alive."

"Get up!... How are you?"

"You see how I look."

"Get up... You two - hold him."

I lean my head a bit, and I see how they hold his arms. A third Ustasha holds a candle and burns the victim's mustache and eyes. He screams in pain. What will I do? What can I do as they burn his eyes and mustache?

One Ustasha yells: "Slaughter that corpse and throw him among the slaughtered."

It got quiet again. Two and two Ustashas carry the slaughtered bodies out. One takes your legs, the other your arms. They throw you into the truck.

Listen, a few of us are left. It is the fifth or sixth truck that leaves [the church]. My turn comes. One Ustasha grabs me by the legs and one by the arms. They carry me to throw me on the truck. And still something is telling me that I'll stay alive.

They hurl me on the truck. Somehow I landed on my back. Three or four other bodies fall on me. One of the bodies has slashed throat, and blood flows over me. I will not make a sound.

They order [the driver]: "Go. You know where you should drive it."

The other [Ustasha] cautions: "Don't just go. Be careful. Go back to church and check whether anyone is alive. Then do not come back to Glina. No one should ever know..."

The third one says: "Mother fucking Serbs - they will not all fit. Throw some to that other truck."

They get me by the legs and drag me off. As they do my head hits a rock. Here is where it was broken. They throw me in the other truck.

The trucks start to move, the one I was on, too. Two Ustashas are sitting above my head and one close to my legs.

The truck gets some 60, 70 yards off the main road. They come for us. Throw, throw, throw bodies. There are already large numbers of people in those pits. There are some 30 or 40 of them doing it.

One they take off me and throw him then another and third and fourth. They get me by the legs and threw me somehow into one corner [of the pit]. My legs land stretched. Another gets thrown over me. But still something in me says that when they throw dirt over us, I will lift that dirt and will run away.

They bring one live woman. What they didn't do to her there --. One of them then says: "Fuck her Serbian mother! Shoot her!" She falls. She falls down over my legs.

One says: "It would be good to get down there. She has golden rings."

They then bring some live people. They hit them with hammers and axes. They just bring him to the pit. He cries: "Oh, my children." or "Oh, my dear mother."

They bring three or four trucks of live people after mine. There must have been some 600 souls they brought. Those are the people who did not fit in the church and they left them in the town house.

Listen -- they murdered them all.

It was quiet again. You could not hear anything. One then said: "You know, not all will fit in this pit. We should step on them, pack them."

They get into the pit and step, step onto people.

Again, you cannot hear anything. You cannot hear anything. Nothing. Then someone goes toward me and asks: "Are you alive?" I am silent. I think it could be one of the Ustashas. He crawls back and lies again. He comes back and asks: "Are you alive? Are you alive?" I said: "Yes I am. Let us get out."

I go to one corner, he to another.

There are other pits around, some two yards deep.

I am looking carefully. Some 30 or 40 of them [Ustashas] are standing around, only five, six steps away. One of them is holding a peasant type of lamp.

They did not notice that both he and I escaped.

From there, listen, we run, run. Run over the road. I stumbled over someone in a corn field. He was lying there. He was startled. People were running away from their homes and were hiding in the fields of Majska Polja.

I say: "Hey, is that you Stojan?"

He says: "Yes, it's me, Ljuban, brother. What happened to you? We heard that they were beating people in Prekupa. What happened to you?"

"Well, I was in the church. You see what they did to me. They were slaughtering people in the church."

"How did it happen?"

"Don't ask. Do not ask anything now. I cannot describe it myself." I took the blood-soaked shirt off and continued half-naked. I said: "Stojan, where is my uncle Pavle Ovcar's house?"

"You already passed it" he says, directing me where to go.

It was already dawn when I arrived. I changed. My pants were all blood-soaked on me. Barely two hours passed - someone said: "Ustashas are coming!"

Luckily they did not stop at the house. They were just going through in a patrol.

I stayed there [in my uncle's house] the next three months. I was curing my wounds. You see, my entire back was scratched off as they dragged me across the metal bottom of the truck.

I somehow survived.


We went among Croats and asked them to tell us. We found three pits close to Novo Selo. None of the Croats wanted to tell us about fourth pit. No one would ever know about these three pits if I had not survived. None of them would ever tell. Some people came [to study it all] and those three pits are the ones that, in 1947, we dug out. The pits were 10 or 12 yards long and over 4 yards wide. Large pits. In one of them we find a woman. She is in national costume of Bovic, Kordun [Krajina]. A six year old girl was tied with wire to her. Both mother and daughter had their throats slit.

As they were taking them out, I told the person who was taking notes, Ilija was his name, to keep the sculls together so we know how many people were dug out. But even that way you cannot know exactly. We tried to collect shells of the sculls. I saw that some 2,000 or more than 2,000 people were unearthed. But those people collected at Glina - all their heads were smashed. They were hitting them from the behind.


I do not trust them when they [today's Croat government] are calling us back. He is calling you to kill you. [Ustasha fuhrer] Pavelic did the same. They were throwing leaflets. Whoever came was sent to concentration camps. They were all murdered. They never came back. The same now.

As you see, a human being endures anything. You always think it will be better. You hope it will be better.

We have to be grateful that Serbia accepted so many refugees... Thank God.

[End quote]

End of Ljuban Jednak's video interview --

Contributors to the video documentary:

Scenario consultants:
- Dr. Slobodan Brankovic
- Zorana Petrovic

Music composer: Ljubomir Ninkovic

Light: Dragan Trpcevski

Sound: Nenad Barbul

- Spasoje Jovanovic
- Sanjin Perisic

Camera: Branislav Pantic

Producer: Miroslav Stankovic

- Spasoje Jovanovic
- Miroslav Stankovic

Archive material from: RTS and TVB

PRODUCTION: "Cine Pro" Pancevo, 1997

Translation to English: Petar Makara

Current state, December 2003: AVI file (playable by Windows, video player), Serbian language only. We plan to make (many) different format versions subtitled in English.


    [ See (ALL) the stills taken from the video ]

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Last revised: December 19, 2003