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Lest we forget

An excerpt from book by: Ms. Ruth Mitchell,

The Serbs choose war

Published by: Garden City; New York; 1943

pp 258-260

Document III


Source: A legal affidavit, signed and sworn to by Herberovic Hilmija, a Mohammedan [Muslim] resident Croatia, in regard to the Glina massacres:

"I came to Belgrade in 1938 and lived there until the war. At first I made my livelihood by selling various trifles on the street; later, I was employed as office servant by the Centralno Transportno Drustvo of Kolarceva, Belgrade.

"On the day of the bombing I was in Belgrade, and I left on the same day to report to my command in Susak; in accordance with my mobilization orders....

I cannot remember the date, but I thillk it must have been the I7th or 18th of April 1941. The company commander on that date called all the soldiers together and informed us that the war was over and everyone should proceed home....

I arrived home in Bosanski Novi about the 24th of April, 1941....

Then I received an order from the military command in Petrinja to report there....

At the beginning of June my company was ordered to Glina to establish order and peace in that district and to collect all the arms and ammunition from the people....

On our arrival in Glina we searched the houses of that town and then went to the neighboring villages. When the searching was over the Ustashis arrived from Zagreb and Petrinja and we were then ordered to round up from the villages all men from twenty to fortyfive years of age....

At the beginning we arrested only the men. We collected them from the villages and shut them in the Court gaol. There they remained several days, until the gauls were filled, and they were thell put to death. The killing was done in several ways. Some were locked up in the Orthodox Church in Glina, which could contain 1,000 men. Then the company oficer chose about fifteen men to do the killing. They were then sent into the church with knives. During the butchering, sentries were placed before the church. This was necessary because some of the Orthodox Serbs dimbed up the bell tower and jumped into the porch. All these were killed by the sentries in the porch. I was three times chosen to do the killing. Each time we were accompanied by some officers, Dobric Josip and Cvitkovic Mihailo, and some Ustashi officers.

"When we entered the Church the oficers remained at the door and watched while we did the killing. Some we struck in the heart and some in the neck. Some we struck haphazard. During the killings there were no lights in the church, except that some soldiers were specially appointed to light our way with electric torches. It happened on several occasions that some Serb rushed us with his fists or kicked us in the stomach, but he was butchered immediately. There was always much noise during the killing. The Serbs used to shout 'Long live Serbia,' 'Long live the Serbs,' 'Down with Pavelich,' 'Down with the Ustashis,' 'Down with the Croatian State,' etc.

"The killing usually began at about ten o'dock in the evening and lasted until two o'clock in the morning, and the cries were continued until the last Serb was killed. These killings in the Church took place seven-eight times, and I took part in them three times. Every time we were so bespattered will blood that our uniforms could not be cleaned. We therefore changed them in the magazine and washed them later. The church was washed after every killing, after the corpses were taken away in motor trucks. Usually they were thrown into the river Glina. Sometimes they were buried.

"Some Orthodox Serbs were taken from the gaol to the river Glina and mashine-guned. Usually three to four hundred persons were machine-guned at a time. They were stood up in two ranks on the bank, tied arm to arm with ropes, and then shot with machine guns which were placed a few yards away. The machine-gunning was done by the Ustashis while we stood guard around. The corpses of these persons were thrown into the Glina....

"My company's task was to round up the Serbs in Glina and in the Glina district, but orders were also given that all Serbs in the districts of Topusko and Vrgin Most as well as Glina should be rounded up and killed. I do not know exactly how many Serbs we re Killed, but I have heard it said that about 120 thousand Serbs from the abovementioned districts have been killed....

"I have nothing more to add. These notes have been read out to me, and all my statements have been correctly written down.

"I can read and write."


Document IV


Source: Letter written by a Jewish physician, professor in the Department of Medicine in the University of Belgrade, to a friend in London on his escape from Yugoslavia in 1942. As the writer is a Jew, for the sake of relatives who remain in Yugoslavia his name cannot be used.

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Last revised: Nov. 26, 1997