Labor Camp Jasenovac

Igor Vukic, author “Labor Camp Jasenovac”

Wherever you look, whether in books, tourist or other flyers and brochures, newspapers, digital or online media, Jasenovac site for World War II victims is portrayed as Jasenovac Concentration Camp (at times it has been referred to as an extermination camp) – within the context of the Holocaust. This portrayal of Jasenovac camp was initiated and established by the communist Yugoslavia regime in which a great number of Serbs played important, decisive, roles. That is a historical fact! I myself, for the benefit of public attention focus, in my writings throughout many years, have referred to it under that title because that was the name by which the world’s public was trained to recognise it. That is so in spite of the fact that all of my writings delved into the issues of scandalously pumped-up victim numbers and the concealment (by communists and pro-communists) of historical truth which shows that Jasenovac camp remained opened for a number of years after WWII for the purposes of communist purges and murders.

The past few months, in Croatia and worldwide, have particularly been coloured by escalated accusations and malicious allegations of neo-fascism or neo-Nazism supposedly gaining more and more ground in Croatia. Media articles and television and radio sources have been riddled with such fabricated monstrosities. Needless to say that the historical and patriotic greeting/salute “For Home Ready” (Za Dom Spremni) used in Croatia for centuries has, to former communists and pro-Communists and left-leaning political echelons, just like Jasenovac camp, become (utterly undeservingly) a symbol of neo-fascism and neo-Nazism. With leading Croatian journalists, writers, activists… being bullied and sanctioned (losing their jobs and livelihood etc.) for even daring to utter the notion that the WWII and post-WWII recorded Croatian history needs to be properly researched and brought to light, the courage for truth becomes more and more perilous for its seeker. It has come to this: those that sow rejection of fascism actually practice it, hiding their pathetic regard for truth and human rights, under vicious “antifascist” skirts.

Yesterday, I came across a newspaper (Vecernji List, Croatia) article by Milan Ivkosic, who writes about a new book released “Labor Camp Jasenovac” (Radni Logor Jasenovac) by author Igor Vukic (no family relation to me) and it grabbed my attention particularly because, given the persecution of those that even dare offer acknowledgment of the likely possibility that Jasenovac was not exclusively and purposefully an extermination camp, the article represents sound courage and positive, objectively lined credo.

Milan Ivkosic writes (translated into Egnlish): “Almost not a day goes by that Jasenovac is not mentioned, either as part of accusations against Thompson (Croatian popular singer and songwriter Marko Perkovic Thompson), in relation to verdicts regarding ‘For Home Ready’ or in relation to various books and texts, often mutually opposing, contradictory, exclusive.

I have read a splendid book ‘Labor Camp Jasenovac’ (Published by P.I.P.), authored by Igor Vukic, an unusual author of Serb nationality whose family members were in the Jasenovac camp, but his texts are completely different from a great majority of those previously written on the same topic. Even the mere syntagma in the book’s title ‘labor camp’ suggests that the book is about very ‘sinful’ research. It is in significant contradiction to the decades of the imposed myth about Jasenovac. It is in essence contradictory to the decades long myth of Jasenovac in which the reasons for detention, the character of the camp, the number of victims … are completely different to Vukic’s.

The author is a calm researcher, completely devoted to facts, without any negative or positive passion, appropriation, or bias. And those facts are in multitudes of examples that fill the whole book, examples found in archives, mostly in the Croatian State Archives, and those obtained from other trusted sources.

If some content in the book is doubtful to the author, he alerts the reader to take caution. And these are, actually, the only author’s only ‘interventions’, everything else is told by people, their fates, transcripts from post-war court hearings, authentic documents, and information. Naturally, as he does not write about ‘Labor Camp Jasenovac’ as exclusively a place of extermination, as communist authors and propagandists do, Vukic does not deny crimes.

He only brings them out, describes them, and there were many, those with excuse, those with fabricated excuse, but there was also punishment of the Ustashas who committed some of them, and punishments included execution by shooting. Those who had committed some crime against the State were taken to the camp, but as time passed a frightening rule for Jews became valid – that they could be incarcerated only because they were Jews. The longest sentence was three years, after serving the sentence the detainees were released, some even before having served the full sentence, when they had good advocates or for other reasons. Food was generally very poor, except when it was sourced from outside, from Jewish communities or other sources, which was done completely freely and was permitted. There were a lot of illnesses and deaths, which were certified by a doctor and a local official.

“Labor Camp Jasenovac” front book cover

Breaches were most strictly punished, sometimes most cruelly – by imprisoning detainees in areas where they died of hunger and thirst. These were the strictest punishments causing escape. If a fugitive was not arrested or killed, a number of people from his group were killed. The book also mentions the attitude of Archbishop Stepinac about Jasenovac as ‘the shameful stain on NDH’ (Independent State of Croatia/WWII). There were plenty of workshops in the camp where detainees could demonstrate their creative abilities and abilities to create complicated products. Thus, in one workshop, parts for cars and aircraft were made. These workshops made into work camp, everyday life was marked by work. But in that life there was something which the promoters of the myth of criminal Jesenovac find hardest to accept. That is, there was entertainment in the camp. There were sporting matches, especially football, concerts, theatrical performances, among which performances were the works created by the detainees themselves.

A renowned musician, detainee and communist sympathiser Natko Devcic, who, after the war, wrote about the performances in the camp in an unpublished diary, led the camp’s orchestra. There were also sketches in which they participated and permitted even the highest officials at Jasenovac, such as Dinko Sakic, to be ironised. The detainees also occupied themselves with science, ad when Vuk Vernic, a detained professor of sociology and statistics, asked from the Ustashe leaders to obtain for him books from the University library in Zagreb – he got them! International inspectors also visited the camp, and one of these visits was recorded in the AVNOJ (Antifascist Council for the Liberation of Yugoslavia) 1942 publication, which states that in order to build new facilities faster the detainees received better food.

Vukic does not deal much with the number of victims, but only at the end he mentions an incredible example: although in 1941, according to documents and detainee testimonies, there were about 1,200 detainees in the camp, the official list of victims contains 10,700 killed there in that year! One could bring out a whole array of characteristics of Jasenovac from this book, which, given the data in it, is comprehensive and with its 330 pages is not a large book. Being as such, the book is an enormous contribution to the research of the truth of Jasenovac that is ideology-free, bias-free, affect-free and free of heritage entailed in the Greater Serbian and communist falsifications.” Ina Vukic

Comments

  1. Reblogged this on Ace News Desk.

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  2. Robert Konc says:

    Spread the truth wherever you go, across the entire world, the truth must win in the end. Well done Ina Vukic!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Time for reckoning, time for truth. Thank you!

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  4. Sounds like a truly praiseworthy work of penmanship and research. It is a fact: history that was written by victors, with bias and wrongly, can only be reconciled and restored to factual state can be best done by calm, unbiased researchers and cold facts. Best of luck – for humanity!

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  5. “Those that sow rejection of fascism actually practice it, hiding their pathetic regard for truth and human rights, under vicious ‘antifascist’ skirts’”Ina Vukic this is a brilliant summary of the astounding hypocrisy that is heavily entrenched in Croatia.
    Well said and written Ina.

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  6. Thank you for your courage! Truth always wins in the end, even if we, in our lifetimes, may not reap the glory of the truth

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Maria Luketic says:

    Well done Ina, sourcing an unbiased write up of Jesenovac. As rare as hens teeth I bet!

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  8. Cornelia Ivos says:

    Thank you very much for your honesty, courage and determination in finding the truth. Sadly, people continue to suffer because of truth.

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  9. Tony Ivanda says:

    Say something enough times and people begin to believe it
    I remember doing some research years ago and sourced a number of books on Croatia from Melbourne University I was astounded at how many Serbians wrote about Croatia and how much of it was pro Serbian propaganda.
    with the war of independence in the 90s Croatians had to continually fight off accusations of being pro-nazi because of all this false literature that it existed for decades.
    now in today’s climate we can’t even celebrate a small Nations Victory Abbey able to get to a World Cup final without having to respond to accusations of being Nazis

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  10. Politics and its politicians will always try to say things at their convenience. There is no valid reason to believe them when the elementary rights of Croats were not even respected. Every time you do your articles, you give us a clear vision of what really happens in your country. It is very interesting to know the truth. Good for you.

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  11. Bravissima, Ina – tako treba, širiti ISTINU na svim jezicima i po cijelome svijetu! Pozdrav i blagoslov.

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  12. I am happy there are voices out there that speak the truth. Fresh air is needed.

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  13. Splithead says:

    Ina good article again. It should be noted, now after almost 30 years of independence the no Croatian government feels a need to look for the truth, nor defend its people from malicious slurs by others.

    I’m not worried about “other” external parties.

    Today in any media one question is never asked “Why was there a need for NDH to be created?” This is relevant to Croatia today as it was then for NDH.

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  14. I hate making generalizations, but leftist, socialist, communists or whatever they call themselves are delusional ideologues to whom the end justifies the means no matter how ugly or untruthful. They have infiltrated academia and government institutions and polluted rational and factual public debate. We must always strive for factual, honest, transparent and verifiable evidence and debate.

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  15. This book sounds fantastic!

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  16. Very interesting. Odd how labor camps have different names at different times and at different places. Thanks for following TowerAndFlights.

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