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A book by Jasenovac survivor:

"Witness to Jasenovac's Hell"

by Ilija Ivanović

Edited by Wanda Schindley, PhD,
Publisher: Dallas Publishing Company, Dallas 2002

Translated by: Aleksandra Lazić

The system of concentration camps Jasenovac was a true Hell on Earth. It was organized by Catholic Nazi fanatics known as Ustashas. Mr. Ilija Ivanović was only a thirteen (13) years old boy when he was sent to this hell. His only guilt was that he was born as a Serb. A rare survivor of Jasenovac Mr. Ivanović, now in Republika Srpska, the Serbian part of Bosnia, describes in his book the thousand days he miraculously survived in this WWII Nazi Croatia's death camp.

EXCERPT from pp. 97-98 of the above book.

Chapter Title:

Terrible Torturing


In camp, everything was known about how Ustashas were torturing prisoners, especially captured Partisans and communists. Ustashas didn’t make an effort to hide it. The crazy sadists enjoyed our suffering, and they were trying to scare us and to kill us psychically. They were threatening, “We will put you in solitary among lice! We will let them suck your criminal blood gradually, and it is better then to put you under a soldering iron or with a rat.” We knew what these threats meant.

They were closing prisoners into solitary rooms that were full of lice. Food and water was drastically reduced. The prisoners were given only one meal per day-a bowl of soup, more salty than it should be, on purpose, so the need for water would be more. And they gave almost no water. Lice were multiplying and were sucking the blood of the miserable man whose life was gradually extinguished. When they noticed that a prisoner was close to the end, they would take him back to the camp where friends would clean him, and pick the lice off, and feed him with food from their own mouths. When the poor man had recovered a little bit in 20 days and came back to life, Ustasha would take him again to solitary and repeat the process a few times until he died.

During the period I spent at the camp, I saw many temporarily liberated prisoners from solitary. All of us were skinny, but they-it was awful to see-were just as skeletons that were walking. Their clothing was white from thousands of lice.

“Putting under the soldering iron” meant burning a man’s chest. That was another method of torturing that didn’t last as long but was more painful. When they were publicly hanging a group of communist, we saw their burned chests and scabs that reminded us of the bark on old oak trees.

The worst was torturing with rats. They would tightly bind a prisoner’s legs and m s with a board they put across his chest and legs and tie him on the table for torturing. Then they would remove the clothes from his stomach and on his naked body put a rat that was covered with a big iron pan. They would press that kettle with a heavier piece of iron so the rat couldn’t turn the pan over, and then they would warm that kettle with a soldering iron. In order to save himself, the rat would claw through the poor man’s belly and go into the inside of his stomach. The prisoners said nothing was worse than this way of slaughtering. Cutting off noses, ears, eyes, and stabbing nails under the fingernails and toenails were easier to stand than the rat on the naked belly.

Editor's note: Types of torture are documented in the work of the Croat medical doctor Nikola Nikolić, who recorded incidents when at the camp and published his first book about Jasenovac [Jasenovac, Camp of Death] in 1948. Testimonies of survivors, confessions of was criminals, and the explicit policy of taming while killing are documented also in other works.

Every day I went to get water at a pump that was about fifty meters from the solitary cages. One time I saw three Ustashas who were slaughtering a prisoner in this way: The Ustasha who was standing in front put a bayonet on the ground, turning the tip up. Another Ustasha was forcing the prisoner gradually down into a squatting position over the bayonet. The prisoner saw the bayonet as he was ordered to squat down, so he was squatting just partly, trying to stay clear of the bayonet. The other two Ustashas grabbed his shoulders and shoved him down on the bayonet. The horrible scream of the dying man stopped my breath. I grabbed the can of water and left that place.

(End quote)

Other excerpts from the book:

Daily horrors of Jasenovac

Terrible Torturing!

Break out from Jasenovac!

MORE EXCERPTS -- to come.


More about the book and how to order it.

Other survivors of Jasenovac speak

What was Jasenovac?

Who were Nazi Croats - the Ustashas?

More on WWII Yugoslavia

Nazi Croatia TODAY!!!

Srpska-Mreza NOTE:
This and other excerpts from Mr. Ivanović's book are presented on Srpska-Mreza.com site with strict and explicit permission from the author, Mr. Ilija Ivanović and editor, Dr. Wanda Schindley.

The author's main wish is for the entire world to get to learn about Jasenovac so that horrors and injustice of this sort never, ever repeat - anywhere in the world. He is painfully aware that he is a rare survivor of the Jasenovac hell. He is also one of the few survivors who is still among us.

Today, September 26, 2007, Mr. Ivanović is still alive and well. He lives in Republika Srpska -- the part of Bosnia that indigenous Serbs were able to defend from onslaught of resurrected Croat Nazis, from Bosnian Muslim fundamentalists and from the criminal, shameless NATO.

Where am I? PATH:

Book of facts

The truth will free us all.
Feel free to download, copy and redistribute.
First posted: October 27, 2007