Lest we forget
An excerpt from book by: Ms.
The Serbs choose war
Published by: Garden City;
New York; 1943
Source: Handwritten report sent
by underground channels through Cairo, written
by Dr. Theodore Lukac, a Croatian, director of the District Hospital at
. . . "Meanwhile, 24 days
after the first pogrom, that is on June 2, 1941, the real massacre began.
Vidovdan [the Serb national holiday] was approaching, and the Ustashis
openly said that the Serbs would remember this Vidovdan. We now come to
the most treacherous crime committed by the Ustashis. On June 22 Pavelich
published an order in the official newspapers, on the wireless, and even
through church sermons, that whoever used force against the citizens of
the state would be most severely punished. At the same time he sent a coded
telegram to each Ustashi group, directing them to carry out by whatever
means they wished precisely during the days before Vidovdan the massacre
and extermination of the Serbs.
June 24th to the 28th over 100,000 Serbs were murdered in Bosnia,
Herzegovina, Dalmatia, Lika, Croatia, and Srem [Syrmia]. All of them were
innocent men. On this occasion they were carried off, not under cover of
night, but in full daylight. The Serbs were caught
as if they were wild beasts, in the streets, in oficial buildings, and
in their ofices. The peasants were caught in their fields. They
were thrown into lorries and carried outside the towns, where they were
massacred. Many of them were subjected to the most brutal tortures before
they were killed ....
"Out of 2,000 Serbs in Livno,
over 1,900 were murdered. A few old men and women and some small children
got away. At Ljuboski all the Serbs were killed
and not one was spared. There perished with them a very popular
doctor of the town, Dr. Alexander Lukac.
"In Stolac, all the Serbs,
except three old men of over eighty, were put to death. At Ljubinje and
in the valley of Popovo polje, more than 8,000 peasants were killed and
all the Serbian villagers were completely exterminated.
"Twelve hundred people were
killed in Mostar, among them some of the most prominent persons: seven
priests, Dr. Valjko Jelashic, the medical officer, the most prominent businessmen
such as the brothers Cerekovic, Ljuba Sain, Jovo Oborin, Tosa Mjuhic, and
his brother, Dr. Veljko Mjuhic, schoolmasters, engiheers, judges, and the
"The remainder of the Serbs
were saved either by flight into the forests or else by going into Serbia.
For a great deal of money permits to travel to Serbia could be bought from
Bihac and the neighborhood not one Serb remained alive. On the
eve of Vidovdan they rounded up the peasants in the neigh bor bood of Bihac
and 9,000 men were killed in only four days. The executioners were the
gypsy-moslem scum, and they were paid by the Ustashis fifty dinars. A kilogram
of mutton, and a kilogram of rakija per hour of murdering.
"But the worst murder occurred
in Glina. Each night Serbs were bound and taken
(from the concentration camps) to the Orthodox Church, where they were
killed with knives. The corpses floated on the blood, and the murderers
boasted that they walked in Serbian blood up to their knees.
"In the valley of the Neretva,
from Mostar towards Metkovic, all were exterminated; in Capljina only one
Serbian remained alive. In the villages of Klepce and Pribilovci, near
Capljina, they took away 300 peasants, deceiving them by telling them that
they were being taken to work. Then they shut them up in great sheds, which
they set alight so that they died of the most terrible suffering....
"The concentration camps
were not barracks, but merely open places which had been enclosed or else
roofless sheds, with no floors to lie down upon and where people were shut
in as if they were animals. For food they were given once a day a lind
of soup, which was in fact merely lukewarm water with five or six beans
in it. In the course of three weeks, most of them died of acute dysentery.
The most infamous of the camps was the one at Jasenica on the Sava , where
over 60,000 people succumbed.
"The worst of the women's
camps was at Loborgrad. It is impossible to describe the conditions which
women had to endure. They could not wash, and they had to lie down on the
filth. All the young ones were raped, and girls of fourteen were found
to be pregnant. The camp on the island of Pag was the scene of the most
terrible bloodshed. There were about 4,500 Serbs there, 2,500 Jews, and
about 1,500 Great Nationalists, Communists, and so-called Freemasons. They
also lived in the open, and thirty were murdered under particularly brutal
circumstances. When the Ustashis heard that Pag would again be taken over
by the Italy they killed all the persons in the camp at the last moment,
merely in ordel to prevent their being set free by the Italians....
"The turn of some towns,
Sarajevo for instance, came as late as October and November 1941. At that
time punitive expeditions were sent to the villages
around Sarajevo, Pale,
Blasuj, Romania, Semozovac, Railevac, all of them purely Serbian villages.
They always proceeded in the same way: they either caught the peasants
through trickery, or else during night attacks with the help of the regular
"The district where the
Serbian population was the most compact ofered the strongest resistance
to the Ustashis: that is, Bosanska Krajina, E. Bosnia, and Herzegovina.
"This terrible catastrophe
at the hands of their 'brothers,' according to quite certain information
simultaneously collected by two committees, the one on Split and the other,
a secret one, in Belgrade, cost the Serbs not less than 700,000 lives."
Source: A legal affidavit, signed
and sworn to by Herberovic Hilmija, a Mohammedan [Muslim] resident Croatia,
in regard to the Glina massacres...
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Last revised: Nov. 26, 1997