Croatia: Demands For Serbia’s Accountability For Crimes In Concentration Camps

Members of Croatian  Association Of The Inmates  Of Serb Concentration Camps  In The Split-Dalmatia County File Motion For Damages and Serbia's Accountability Photo: Sime Duvancic

Members of Croatian
Association Of The Inmates
Of Serb Concentration Camps
In The Split-Dalmatia County
File Motion For Damages
and Serbia’s Accountability
Photo: Sime Duvancic


Eighty-eight former inmates of Serb-run concentration camps from Split-Dalmatia County, during the 1990’s Serb-aggression against Croatia, on Tuesday 14 July 2015 filed a motion at the prosecutor’s office in Split for a peaceful settlement of their claims for damages in which they ask that Croatia request on their behalf that Serbia compensate them as a requirement for its accession to the European Union.

Through this motion of peaceful settlement, through the institutions of the Croatian state, we wish to achieve a result that either our own country takes care of us or that it, at least, in a future move towards Serbia implements a condition that Serbia must satisfy our compensation claims before it can become a member of the European Union,” said Ivan Turudic, the Croatian Association Of The Inmates Of Serb Concentration Camps In The Split-Dalmatia County.

The 88 former inmates spent a total of 8,668 days in Serb-run camps, each losing about 99 days of their lives to torture and deprivation in these camps.
In 2006, over 30,000 former inmates, including 500 children and over 2,500 women, filed a class action in Serbia claiming damages from Serbia, but the action involving Croatian veterans’ claims was not even considered and the one involving children, the elderly and women was rejected by the court in Serbia.

Ivan Turudic, President of Croatian Association Of The Inmates  Of Serb Concentration Camps  In The Split-Dalmatia County  Photo: Marko Saric

Ivan Turudic, President of
Croatian Association Of The Inmates
Of Serb Concentration Camps
In The Split-Dalmatia County
Photo: Marko Saric

Turudic said there were few final rulings in the towns of Knin and Sibenik. “Recently, the problem has arisen that when a final ruling is passed, we cannot be compensated because those who were tried for war crimes have no property in Croatia.”

Dragan Vasiljkovic

Dragan Vasiljkovic

Furthermore, Turudic says that it looks like the victims of the Serb-run concentration camps will not be able to extract any money as compensation from Dragan Vasiljkovic (a.k.a. Captain Dragan and Daniel Snedden) who had been extradited to Croatia from Australia last week to face war crimes charges (including torture in the Serb-run concentration camps) as he has been reported to be bankrupt after having to pay out damages for defamation in Australian courts.

Serbia must be held accountable and responsible for any damages suffered under its brutal aggression.

Members of the Croatian Association Of The Inmates Of Serb Concentration Camps In The Split-Dalmatia County say that while believing in the Croatian institutions they have been forced into an insufferable situation of hopelessness and left at the margins even though they comprise one of the groups that suffered most during the 1990’s Homeland War under Serb aggression.


Due to the suffering, many of them, because they were so brutally and violently tortured, will not live to see a final court ruling, let alone compensation – there is a high death rate among them, said Ivan Turudic.

He said damages were paid to “those who destroyed Croatia’s constitutional and legal order, while the victims are still waiting for the right to compensation.”

Victims of Serb Concentration Camps In Croatia Seeking To Make Serbia Responsible For The Suffering Caused Photo: M. Turudic

Victims of Serb Concentration Camps
In Croatia Seeking To
Make Serbia Responsible
For The Suffering Caused
Photo: M. Turudic

We are justified in asking whether we, the veterans who were also incarcerated in concentration camps, have been forgotten in our own country, do we belong to a second order and have no right to justice, while the other side gets any of its cases or claims attended to promptly and we then ask by what right does that minority, which had committed the crimes in the name of Greater Serbia politics, continues to terrorise and impose its will upon the majority,” said Turudic.

Indeed, there is no way that the current government will even try helping the Croatian veterans along the way to justice and dignity through some deserved compensation. The communists and former communists within this government seem to be intentionally walking on egg-shells so as not to “offend” the Serb minority, from whose circles the 1990’s war criminals against Croatia and Croats arise, despite the blatant need for true justice.

No wonder, war veterans have been protesting non-stop in Zagreb for the past 270 days or so! New cases of veteran neglect and disregard arise all the time and this case of those who suffered terribly in the Serb-run concentration camps in Split-Dalmatia country is just another example of hopelessness and sadness that has gripped Croatia. Serbs will always deny guilt for any crimes – we are witnesses to that infuriating fact. Such being the case I would have thought that the Croatian government and its institutions would have put in extra effort to assist its veterans receive justice. The current foreign affairs minister Vesna Pusic would have surely been the one from Croatia who did not lift a finger in trying to keep these Croatian claims in Serbian courts afloat. While she cannot as minister interfere in court cases these though were rejected on political reasons, hence room to give firm diplomacy a go. But no.  She has had a strong role in helping Serbia maintain its war crimes denial and injustice towards victims. So, the positive side is that Croatia has war veterans and victims of Serb aggression, ethnic cleansing, genocide, torture, rape… who will not permit they are forgotten! Any politician who picks up on that fighting for justice energy from the war veterans will, according to many indications of political psyche, be the winner of tomorrow as far as true leadership goes for Croatia. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)


  1. Just as any other country – they should be held accountable.

  2. Wilkinson says:

    Those who want an end to the pursuit of Slobodan Milosevic’s genocidal politics Serbia implemented only too willingly in the 1990’s against Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina have an interest in discrediting the international tribunals (which they’ve done rather significantly with the help of Russia in the UN last week regarding Srebrenica). Therefore they must pretend there was no genocide and no war crimes and no concentration camps in Croatia during the war even if it means yet again denying the suffering of Croats. Therefore, Croats and their leaders have an even greater obligation to ensure the truth survives and victims receive justice. It’s such a shame that this topic and its significance weren’t covered very much in Croatian mainstream media that expected given that government controls them. I do like how you manage to pluck out important issues that affect the nation and bring it to this blog, Ina. God bless!

    • One could be temped and say: “the world has gone mad”, Wilkinson, but that would be unfair because in all this injustice and rot there is a method and a plan, even if it is ugly to most. So, no madness just outright calmly calculated and implemented frenzy. Thank you on your feedback.

  3. Serbia fights hard and rotten in obscuring the truth about Croatia (and Bosnia and Herzegovina) and its only bid is to rewrite history in favor of the murderers/aggressors. It has been and continues conducting loud campaigns to deny there was genocide, there were mass murders, rape, concentration camps they perpetrated. Serbs perpetuate a host of lies for powerful interests as achieving Greater Serbia holds. Many may say this is the talk of conspiracy theorists but I say just look at the fact: it was only Serbia who attacked people and territory of their neighboring sovereign states of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Croats and Bosniaks did not cross borders carrying weapons and intent to kill but Serbs did.

    • Yep, no limits or boundaries to the lies, Mino – but with help and determination let’s hope such changes to the benefit of those who deserve it

  4. Hilda M Foley says:

    Finally, a lot of lost time! Best regards, Hilda Marija Foley

    • One wonders Hilda how much the leftist anti-Tudjman politics in Croatia since 2000 has contributed towards so much wasted time for justice, Hilda! Such a shame but I guess some consolation exists with the fact that fighters have not withered away and their good fight, including Tudjman’s, is increasingly respected and raised to pedestals of pride

  5. It’s heartbreaking to know that so many victims will never see justice served. So much time has been wasted, so many lives lost which could have been saved if Croatian institutions acted in the best interests of the people they serve! They must be held just as responsible as Serbia for their decade long inaction and pandering to war criminals. God give these veterans strength, because once again, they are the ones fighting for Croatia.

    • Our veterans never cease with their good fight, Kat, it is such a shame they don’t get a better break from idiots in government and the politicians. I so respect their strength and resolve to see justice no matter what!

  6. Thanks for this Ina. On another important note…”evo nasa Hrvatska”….the offices of Hrvatski Tjednik under attack. No freedom of the press. When the communists don’t like what you expose….they send in the goons with pistols and piano wire. Appalling. So it’s not just a media blockade by the current Commi regime but physical assaults, death threats, robberies…
    Visitors won’t see this on their way to the beach or a cafe.
    It’s all so well hidden and unless you follow the underground press people are oblivious. HTV, also know as Yugotel, doesn’t report this stuff. Thanks for exposing this stuff Ina.

  7. The political agenda to ignore and wait and pretend it is nothing is hideous and yet it exists pervasively these days more than ever. Shame!

  8. On another note Ina…July 27 is fast approaching. As you know this is the date Serbs celebrate the slaughter of innocent Croats at Donji Lapac in 1941. (The village belongs to Boricevac parish, in Croatia’s eastern Lika region near the border with Bosnia) Serbs killed 37 Croatians from the village of Brotnje, Donji Lapac, dumping them, some still alive, in a mass grave. Among the dead were 20 children.

    This is the kind of lunacy in Croatia that exists.

    You’ve written about this before:
    svaka ti cast!

    • Terrible events,Erica, and I pray all the time for Croatian leaders to develop or have the strength to make sure Serbs are reminded at all times that their crimes were and are terror and must be held responsible and stop denying otherwise Croatia should be the first to throw Serbia into the edges of the margins of its reality forget it ever exists. This may be sen as harsh but the way things are looking Serbia deserves not better unless it changes and takes on responsibility for its own crimes

  9. Vi jos niste zavrsili rat?
    Jos uvek masete pamfletima, srbosjecima i kamama?
    Osvrnite se, rat je tuzno zavrsen pre dvadeset godina. Vi ste pobedili. Razumem, nepoznat je osecaj.
    Zar vam Nemci nisu javili?

    • Translation of hakim comment: You have not finished with war? You still wave pamphlets, daggers and to bring down Serbs?
      Turn around, the war has sadly finished twenty years ago. You have won. I understand, that’s an unfamiliar feeling. Haven’t the Germans let you know?

      REPLY Oh Hakim – so like the Serb rotten ways: you characterise defence from Serb aggression and pursuit for justice for victims of crimes as aggression itself. Now, that is the true sadness.

  10. Dear Ina Vukic, Please allow me to have the honor of nominating you for The Sunshine Award!

  11. Reblogged this on ' Ace History News ' .

  12. Reblogged this on Brittius.

  13. hi ina once again i have to say thank you for sharing, and i appreciate it’s a difficult and emotive subject to write about, thank you for opening my eyes to the atrocities committed and the injustices suffered, it is horrifying to learn how people suffer at the hands of an aggressor and for those suffering to be furthered impounded when they should be free, i can only hope that those responsible see how they are so wrong and i hope your beautiful country starts to see a brighter future with respect for all people. stay strong you have my full respect x

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