Aryanization Of Cultural Environment



By Mladenka Ivanković

The creation of the Independent State of Croatia has its roots in the world map changes instigated by its political “mentor”, the Third Reich. Historically and legally, the creation of this state was not based on defined legal principles, and consequently, in historiography, this state is called “a puppet state”1 . The political organizational form of the Independent State of Croatia does not have legitimacy and effective authority.
In all constituting states, political terms are equal to all the citizens recognizing borders of the state. Political terms are defined to serve as precondition of establishment of the legal system of the state. According to the valid terminology, a state can be set up as an entity cumulatively defined by three constitutive elements: perma-nent population, defined territory and sovereign authority.
If we disregard the way the territory elements and sovereign authority are set up, the first of the elements, state population, was absolutely considered non- (sufficiently) valid by the Croatian political elite, which projected the independent state of the Croatian people. The permanent population of the Independent State of Croatia had to be changed from its roots to answer the projected national principle.
The Independent State of Croatia was founded on a national basis. In the new (ISC) NDH state, a pattern and a principle were established defining a desirable nation.2 Mainly, such a nation existed, but its national monolith was violated by citizens of different national groups. They had to be “modulated” in order to correspond to the healthy national community3 or, simply, be eliminated in “a peaceful way“, as indicated in the state theory. The first and basic rule of accepting anyone to live as an inhabitant and citizen of the Independent State of Croatia was the fulfilment of ideological principles concerning authenticity of race and state religion. If anyone lacked any of these terms, all citizens’ rights could not be guaranteed to such an individual.4

The explicit nationalism and decisive racism were the basis of the internal policy. Such an ideology, popularly named „national community ideology“, propagated both by the Croatian political leadership and catholic clergy, requested racial and national purity and unity. Healthy nation could be raised only by physical destruction of internal and external enemies „poisoning“ the Croatian nation.5 The most dangerous for the Croatian nation were its internal and external enemies: the Serbs, the Jews, intellectuals, communists.
The Independent State of Croatia was the most cooperative ally in implementation of measures of their political „mentor“, the Third Reich. The State was established the same day the German Military Forces marched into Zagreb, on April 10th, 1941. Readiness of the (ISC) NDH consistently and cooperatively to carry out, within its territories, all stipulations of the „racial law“ had deeper roots, which reached into the projected aspects of reestablishment of the real origin of the Croatian nation.6 The new political elite spoke of the Croats as being a nation of Gothic, and not of Slavic7 , origin from ancient times.8
As a state with pro-fascistic ideology, the Independent State of Croatia became a dictatorship in its ruling system. Fascism had at its head a man everybody had to succumb to, regardless of personal merits or capability. Strict discipline, based on the loyalty to one’s leader, is the core of the fascism cohesion. The leader was a personality holding the complete state policy in his power.9 The leader of the Independent State of Croatia was Pavelić, the head of the Ustaše movement. Germany had its Führer, Italy had its Duce, thus, in the same way, NDH had its Poglavnik.
Ante Pavelić formally overtook the power on April 16th, 1941, in Zagreb. „His formal overtaking of power was published … in the “Decree on appointment of the First Croatian State Government“ in which he proclaimed himself Poglavnik and took for himself the departments of Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs.“10 Pavelić, as the authentic leader of the political elite, was a confirmed Germanophile, in spite of his training in Italy.11
Accepting the facts on the German origin of the Croatian peoples, to which he himslef belonged, Pavelić carried out all facts and entire policy in the state following everything done in the Third Reich.12 The Internal policy was based on explicit nationalism and decicive rasism.13 A citizen could be only the one who is a compatriot. A compatriot was the one possessing „Aryan blood“. The national community of the Croatian peoples could embrace only a member of some other European peoples, while all the others, who do not belong to them, particularly the Jews, are the enemies of the regime. Consequently, the Jew cannot be a compatriot, that is, a citizen and therefore has no citizenship and citizens rights accruing therefrom. The Independent State of Croatia had acquired a lower citizens’ category. It is to say, they are citizens who should be “modulated“ in the earliest days of the state, or eliminated, as had been done later. By acceptance of extreme racial anti-Semitism as one of the crucial political views in the state, the puppet state “progressed faster“ even in its implementation.14 According to Milan Ristović: „At the very beginning of the pressure upon Jews, in Germany it should have“ … caused their mass emigration, which, until the mid 1941, was a part of the official German policy of the „Jewish solution“. Emigration (the applied method should be better discribed as expulsion or eviction) was „instigated“ by measures of state terrorism towards its „non-Aryan“ citizens.15 Poglavnik „…needed only five days to announce to the Jews in the NDH, in the papers „Hrvatski narod“ of April 21st, that they are not desirable in public…“16
Pavelić did not look gladly at the Jews in Croatia, because he considered them subversive elements getting rich with Croatian capital and having a powerful role in society, economy and culture. Living within this territory by centuries and obliged to accept everyday customs of the Croatian surroundings, the Jews, besides their own loyalty, felt loyal toward the Croatian state and the peoples. The ruling ideology of the Independent State of Croatia equals this fitting in into the Croatian environment with deep „Croatian national feeling“. This very intergrowth of the Jews into the Croatian nation caused great resentment on the part of the anti-Semites and especially the Ustaše.17

Tendency to impose on the culture to serve some totalitarian pure aims showed clear and visible signs of acquiescence with valid ideo-logical dogmas. “The legal act on protection of national and Aryan culture of the Croatian peoples in NDH“ consisted of three articles. The first article reads that: “The Jews by race must not cooperate and thus influence the creation of national and Aryan culture; therefore, they are forbidden any engagement in work, organizations and institutions of social, youth,18 sport and cultural character of the Croatian peoples in general, and particularly in literature, journalism, fine arts, music, town planning, theater and film.“ This article constitutes the basis of the law. In other two articles it is read: “Implementation of this act is entrusted to corresponding ministries of religion, education, society and internal affairs“, and in the article three : „This legal act comes into force by the day of publication in Narodne novine.“19
The Jewish intelligence was requested to leave their employment. Hospitals dismissed Jewish doctors and medical staff.20 Professors were dismissed from schools, while the judical system was cleared of the judges, prosecutors and lawyers. Students and pupils were forbidden to go to lectures. “The cultural aryanisation“ of the Independent State of Croatia, modelled on the Third Reich, has been speeded up, and the rasism defined.
The Jews had their national and political organizations within the territory, which will, later, become the Independent State of Croatia. The inaugural congress of the Union of Zionists was held in Zagreb.21 It comprised the whole territory of Yugoslavia, continuing to function during the entire period between the two World Wars. The Union gathered together intellectuals and businesmen. The same year, a central Jewish youth organization was founded under the name of “Union of Jewish Youth Associations“. Most of other Jewish youth organizations, which did not formally belong to this organization, were Zionist and left-wing. The student Zionist organization at the Zagreb University was particularly strong. The most numerous and most organized was the youth organization “Hašomer hacair“, a part of the namesake international Zionist youth organization, the aim of which was to prepare young people to immigrate into Palestine. The Jewish students in Zagreb had the strongest student and Zionist organization. In time, they took over all Jewish associations at the University and founded the University Committee of Jewish Communist Organization.22 Spreading of communist influence amongst the Jewish youth could be explained by un-compromising condemnation of rasism and anti-Semitism.
“It is difficult to state the sequence of repressive measures introduced within the Independent State of Croatia. The first to bear the brunt were persons falling under the racial law (April 30th, 1941), than the Yugoslav oriented individuals, the known “leftists”, the recognized union leaders and some of the communists, because the general campaign against communists commenced only after the German attack on the Soviet Union (June 22nd, 1941), as the ustaše, up to that period, did not systematically arrest and persecute communists from tactical reasons (the pact on non-aggression between the Nazi Germany and Soviet Union was still in force).”23
It was obvious that the repressive measures were applied against the Jewish population as they were marked both racially and politically. As soon as April 25th, 1941, a large group was arrested of lawyers, lawyers’ clerks and industrialists and interned into Kerestinec camp, then into the collective camp at the Zagreb fair, to be eventually transported to Gospić, into the Jadovno camp and the island of Pag. According to a testimony of a surviving intellectual: … “University professors, clerks, judges, lawyers, doctors and other intellectuals24 , male and female, were taken into overcrowded police prisons. (…) Every intellectual had to prepare his or hers personal stuff for prison.”25

On the basis of the data found in the book Jadovno, Kompleks ustaških logora 1941 26 , by Đura Zatezalo, and the data which we could verify in the fund “Žrtve” in the Archive of the Jewish Historical Museum, we have come to a number of 108 intellectuals who came to their death in the ustaša camps complex of Gospić-Jadovno. In our research we counted as intellectuals, in the general meaning, industrialists, factory directors, businessmen, music teachers, painters, religious clerks, police inspectors and civil servants, all those who graduated from high school. Here we have to point out that the number of victims is much higher, because trace after somebody remains only if there is anybody from his family to report one’s disappearance. In cases where relatives disappeared, either during the war or after the war, there was nobody left to give data of the victims, until the beginning of organized research after material evidence.
The next group of organized arrest of Jews was the capture of 165 youth in Zagreb, on May 29th and 30th, aged from seventeen to twenty five years of age. They were students27 , high school and vocational school pupils. They were mainly members of various branches of the sport society “Makabi” gathering all Jewish youth.28
“On May 31st, 1941, they all were put into three railway carriages under supervision of some ten policemen “who were given free of charge return tickets to Koprivnica. They were taken to Koprivnica under pretext to “fulfill their student working obligations” during a period of eight weeks. First ten or so days they were accommodated in the premises of the Chemical products factory “Danica” (near Koprivnica) which ceased its production before the war. There, on April 15th, 1941, was founded first wire boarded camp under the ustaša guard.
At the beginning of June 1941, the prison of the District court in Gospić was converted into a concentration camp where mass inflow of prisoners started in July and continued until its dissolution on August 21st, 1941. The mentioned group of the Jewish youth was transferred from Koprivnica to Gospić at the beginning of July, later to be taken from Gospić to the camp in Jadovno.29
Unaware of the tragic fate of their sons, parents sent petitions, individually or jointly, to the Ministry of Interior to “release their children”. Thus, on September 20th, 1941, forty one parent 30 jointly sent a petition directly to the minister:
“On May 31st, of the present year, 165 Jewish youth, as per attached list, were taken to the student working service in the camp “Danica”, Koprivnica. All the children went with great joy, knowing they would work and return home after eight weeks.
Therefore, they took only their summer clothes and only the most necessary things. The children had hoped to return home after eight weeks of camping in Koprivnica, and be replaced by others, but they were sent to the camp of Jadovno on the Velebit.
During the whole period of their school education, these boys were raised in Croatian spirit and they all felt, body and soul, to be Croats. They were members of only Croatian and sport societies, and mixed only with their Croatian schoolmates.31 They were mainly good pupils and of good behavior. It is known that a great number of Jewish pupils helped constantly their less fortunate colleges and helped as well Croatian school institutions. All of this could be verified with their professors.”32
Ten youth transferred from Jadovno to Gospić, only few days prior to the mass liquidation of the prisoners in Jadovno, just before the final termination of the camp, were: Ivo Wollner, Boris i Viktor Rosenwasser, Dragan Mautner, Saša Blivajs, Emil Frojndlih, Ervin Guttmann, Srećko Tkalčić, Božo Schwarz i Aleksander, whose surname was not precisely proved. Saša Blivajs33 was earlier released on behalf of his father’s merit, because he treated one of the ustašas.34 From the group ordered to sweep the streets of Gospić, only Emil Frojndlich survived the war. The other eight from Gospić were taken to the camp in Jastrebarsko, and then to Jasenovac.35
Jadovno was founded at the very beginning of the existence of the Independent State of Croatia as the first camp for destruction of “elements poisoning the Croatian nation“ and there were brought, at the start of mass executions, Jewish pupils, student youth and intellectuals. Beside the intellectuals who were the most productive force in national culture, the arrest and later liquidation of Jewish students and youth in Zagreb is particularly indicative. It was a specially heavy blow, because the aim was to destroy completely representatives of the Jewish cultural elite within the territory of the Independent State of Croatia.


“Currents of history“ 1/2013

1 The leadership of the Independent State of Croatia, “… is not hindered by anything, not even, from the international law’s point of view, by the non-existence of the legal basis, in its endeavor to create a national state.” Đuro Zatezalo, Jadovno. Kompleks ustaških logora 1941, knjiga I, (further on Đ. Zatezalo, I, Beograd 2007 ), Beograd 2007, p. 41.
2 In the Independent State of Croatia, nobody could be by nationality “… who was not a member of the Croatian people both by ancestors and by blood”, Đ. Zatezalo, I, Beograd 2007, p. 55.
3 In order to fulfill the aim of the political elite, it was necessary to carry out homogenization of individual citizens’ consciences and impose upon all the idea of “the Croatian national community” as their own. The genuine Croats had to envisage themselves as a unique body, to be gathered together in one whole, into a national and corresponding political totalitarianism.
4 All those recognized as Croatian citizens, that is, “genuine Croats by race”, will have same rights and liabilities, with the basic task to contribute to the interests of the national community and, under no circumstances, act against the same. In political values, the national community comes first. An individual was just a small part of it focused to serve it.
5 These “facts” established the basis for the full Croatian integration. The Catholic Church had the crucial role in the rounding up of the national integration process. As a catalyst for a more complete realization of the national integration, the superiority was pointed out over the allegedly favored “Byzantine” Serbian national factor and the anti-Semitic influence. Anti-Semitism, that is, anti-Judaism, was considered a kind of fulfillment of the holly, divinely justified mission, to liberate the world of the “human dregs” and “absolute evil”.
6 Ante Pavlić pointed out specially “…that the Croats are of Gothic and not of Slavic origin”.
7 In the currently modern science, the Croats are known as “South Slavic Peoples” … continuing further on that “Speech of the Croatian peoples belongs to the same South Slavic Language”, while the early history within the NDH territory is mentioned in the current science: “In the Early Middle Ages’ tradition, remembrance is preserved on migration of some Slavic tribes from the White Croatia on the upper Wisla. Enciklopedija Jugoslavije, Zagreb 1988. str. 1-2, p. 12.
8 “…We are not Slavs…… (…) Eugen Kvaternik said the name Croat (Hrvat) came from the archaic word “Hroatang”, meaning a worker in Gothic.” Đ. Zatezalo, I, Beograd 2007, p. 39.
9 According to Andrej Mitrović, Vreme netrpeljivih (Times of Intolerant) (further on A. Mitrović, Beograd 1974), Beograd 1974.
10 Đuro Zatezalo, I, Beograd 2007, p. 41.
11 Bogdan Krzman, Pavelić između Hitlera I Musolinija, p. 27.
“Discussing the status of the new state, while waiting for the positive decision from Berlin, Pavelić pointed out particularly … (in Karlovac, during the night of April 15th) … that even in the past, Croatia was an ally of Germany …consequently, it would at present be loyal to the Third Reich.” Đ. Zatezalo, I, Beograd 2007, p. 41.
Jean-Baptiste Duroselle, internationally well known historian, mentions information, not confirmed in writing, which leads, with regard to some of the participants, to some kind of conclusion that the assassination of the king Aleksandar Karađorđević was instigated by Germany, at an inconvenient time for Italy, foreign policy wise.”
…In October 1934, Duce was worried because of the Anschluss and it was against his interests to approve (to the ustaše) the assassination in Marseille …The assassination in Marseille was carried out only under German influence and support. (…) It is known that the night before the assassination, Pavelić was in Berlin, which he left in hurry for Milan. ”Jean-Baptiste Duroselle, Histoire diplomatique de 1919 a nous jours, Paris 1990, p. 176. The author himself says: “…that this hypothesis is not verifiable.” Author’s translation.
12 In human society and in its history, as the quintessence of these views reads, races have the key role, and the task of the twentieth century is to secure the racial purity of the mankind. The racial “totalitarian disclosure” brought forward the statement that the universe is governed by the victory of the betters over the worse ones. The German race is the one to represent the highest aspect of the best human race and consequently they are entitled to be the leaders of the world. They have to establish their empire. On the contrary, the Jews are a lower race and they pollute the German race. The great cause, the racial purity, is total, most valued, even the unique one. According to Ernst Nolte, Fascism in Its Epoch (further on E. Nolte, Beograd 1990), Beograd 1990.
“Thomas Man considered fascism the omnipresent illness of the time, and the “proudly obedient Germans” lightly ill.” Boško Telebaković, Osobine nacizma, Fakultet političkih nauka, Godišnjak 2007, Beograd 2007, p. 170.
13 According to A. Mitrović, Beograd 1974.
14 Pavelić knew that the “New Europe” was in fact the Third Reich. He knew he had to strengthen his status by creating his “first impression” to be clearly noticed and approved in Germany. Poglavnik immediately cognized that it had been expected of him, unambiguously to proceed with emphasis on the anti-Jewish policy.” Boško Zuckerman, Psihologija Holokausta (further on B. Zuckerman, Zagreb 2011). Zagreb 2011, p. 90.
15 Milan Ristović, U potrazi za utočištem (further on M. Ristović, Beograd 1998), Beograd 1988, str. 24.
16 B. Zuckerman, Zagreb 2011, p. 3.
The Jews were not desirable within the territory of the Independent State of Croatia in any profession or age. The fact, given by the political elite on “protection of Aryan blood”, alluding to persons in full sexual strength who could, by some accident and “thoughtlessness of an Aryan female” transfer Jewish blood to German peoples, does not hold water. On the basis of incomplete available data (from the book Đuro Zatezalo, I, Djelimični imenični popis žrtava ubijenih u kompleksu ustaških logora Jadovno, Beograd 2007, str. 421-730) it was established that females older than sixty years of age, at least twenty three of them, disappeared during the process of execution. They completed their working age and lived peacefully, as house wives in retirement, alone or as a married couple, in different towns of NDH. The oldest married couple appearing in the concentration camp list came from Križevci, named Nojman Berta, age 65, and her husband Mijo, age 77.
17 In order to have this regulated by law, were passed legal acts regulating three most significant fields: “Legal act on racial origin in NDH”, of April 30th; “Legal act on protection of Aryan blood and honor of the Croatian peoples in NDH”, of April 30th, and “Legal act on protection of national and Aryan culture of the Croatian peoples in NDH”, of June 4th, 1941.
18 When the education is concerned, the Jews were proclaimed the main creators of destructive and damaging habits with children and youth. In this way poisoned young souls are the best objects for further Jewish experiments. According to: B. Zuckerman, Zagreb 2011.
19 “Hrvatski narod”, Zagreb, No. 11 1.5.1941.
20 Medical staff accused the Jews not to treat well the patients, to leave them without medicaments, while the most serious accusation was… that the Jewish doctors performed planned miscarriages killing thus the unborn Croatian children.” B. Zuckerman, Zagreb 2011, p. 21.
21 The inaugural congress of the “Union of Zionists of Yugoslavia” was held in 1919.
22 According to: Group of Authors, Jevrejska omladinska društva na tlu Jugoslavije 1919-1941, Beograd 1995.
23 Narcisa Lengel-Krizman, Mihael Sobolevski, , Hapšenje 165 jevrejskih omladinaca u Zagrebu u maju 1941. godine (further on N. Lengel-Krizman, M. Sobolevski, Zagreb 1998) magazine “Novi Omanut“, Zagreb, novembar – decembar 1998/5759, p. 3-4.
24 Death of the main cantor Majsel Josip David, from Karlovac was recorded, AJIM, Žrtve (Victims, No. of the victim 16195).
25 Edo Neufeld, Progon židovskih advokata u NDH, in Mi smo preživeli (We survived), Book 3 (further on E. Neufeld, Beograd 2005), Beograd 2005, p. 155-156.
26 Đuro Zatezalo, I, Djelimični imenični popis žrtava ubijenih u kompleksu ustaških logora Jadovno, Beograd 2007, p. 421-730.
27 According to the data from the book by Đura Zatezalo, Jadovno. Kompleks ustaških logora 1941 and the data we could verify in the fund “Žrtve” in the Archive of the Jewish Historical Museum, we have counted sixty eight names with profession student. The name of the Faculty was not always mentioned. The most numerous group consisted of students of medicine, veterinary medicine, agronomy, law, architecture and chemistry. There were some other professions, but we failed to find data.
28 Arrests were organized, but there were individual arrests as well. On the memorial plaque to the Jewish youth killed in 1941 in the Jadovno camp, one of the many names was unfortunately omitted, because the student Zlatko Blau was not in the group whose arrest was organized. AJIM, Žrtve, No. of the victim 16149.
29 N. Lengel-Krizman, M. Sobolevski, Zagreb 1998.
30 “We, as their parents, hereby vouch by our lives, for immaculate behavior of our children and that they will study and work diligently.” Đuro Zatezalo, I, Beograd 2007, p. 390.

There is a place in the petition where they implore the authorities of the Independent State of Croatia to let the youth come home to continue temporarily their studies and vocations.
„The petition was personally signed by: Maria Schlenger, Marija Abraham, Ljubica Frohlich, Etuška ud. Berger, Adela Deutsch, Maria Hirš, Mirko Pichler, Marija Abend, Leni Winter, Elsa Reiss, Nada Svećenski, Berta Levinger, Julija udova Weinberger, Olga Pollak, Ana Leitner, Katica Lichtner, Dara Taussig, Julija Mandlović, Rosenzweig (illegible name), Berta Walter, Stella Berger, Marga Dragić, Hedy Klein, Mici Wusler, Đeri (illegible name), Ana Schreiber, Margita Fuchs, Ida Braun, Olga Geselin, Gizela Blühweiss, Ignatz Katz, Olga Schotten, Hela Weill, Frida Krešić, Berta Kraus, Jelka Kraus, Robert Hercog, Elizabeta (illegible name) i Eugen (illegible surname) with a note: grandfather for his grandson. The petition was recorded in the Ministry of Interior of NDH on October 2nd, 1941 (under No. 732) with a note: Directorate for Public Order and Safety – E. Kvaternik. In archives, we have found no data of an answer to this petition.” N. Lengel-Krizman, M. Sobolevski, Zagreb 1998

31 Even if they have not been convicted and most of them executed, their parents stated to have raised their children with genuine Croatian national feelings. Against their will, parents have “approved” that their children “rise into the Croatian nation”. This “certainty” instigated particular resentment on the part of the anti-Semites, especially the ustašas.
32 Đuro Zatezalo, I Beograd 2007, p. 390.
33 “In his statement, Dr. Aleksandar Blajsvajs (Bleisweiss) mentions that he also was returned to Gospić from Jadovno in a truck. Đuro Zatezalo, I, Beograd, 2007, str. 101. Aleksandar Blajsvajs’ statement was given on October 30th, 1987. In it he gave his name, both in Slavic pronunciation version and in German original, as the name was written. In this way, it was confirmed.
Researchers, looking for genuine data of victims, would need to get surnames in the versions written by victims, if that is possible, in cases victims come from different language regions or if their names have been written in a different orthography. In the quoted text by Narcisa Lengel-Krizman and Mihael Sobolevski, Hapšenje 165 jevrejskih omladinaca u Zagrebu u maju 1941, in the magazine “Novi Omanut”, Zagreb, November-December 1998, surnames are not always written correctly. In their article and on the Memorial plaque to the Jewish youth assassinated in 1941 in the Jadovno camp, surname Blivajs Saša is mentioned under number seventeen. As he was released, his name is not mentioned in the fund “Žrtve “in the Archive of the Jewish Historical Museum in Belgrade (further on AJIM, Žrtve).
On the same plaque, under number sixteen is the name of Blivajs Josip. AJIM, Žrtve, number of the victim is 24341.

Comparing the victim list of the Archive of the Jewish Historical Museum in Belgrade and the one from the book by Đuro Zatezalo, Kompleks ustaških logora 1941, knjiga I, Beograd 2007, we have found the name of Blivajs Josip in German original – Blühweiss (German u with two dots). It means, that in Slavic pronunciation, at least two surnames with German orthography are pronunced – Blivajs.
In the ustaše camp complex of Jadovno, many families were destroyed. For example: Bluhweiss Bruno, doctor, killed on the island of Pag, victim number 24328; Bluhweiss Veljko, student, killed in Jadovno, victim number 24349; Bluhweiss Ida, housewife, killed on Pag, victim number 24339; Bluhweiss Josip, tradesman, killed in Jadovno, victim number 24341; Bluhweiss Oto, tradesman, killed in Jadovno, victim number 24347; AJIM, Žrtve.

34 “Blajsvajs was released by Juco Rukavina, who was treated by Blajsvajs’s father far back during Juco’s emigration days. Blajsvajs left Gospić for Zagreb on August 15th, prior to the assassination of the prisoners in Jadovno.” Đuro Zatezalo, I, Beograd 2007, p. 118.
35 We are giving you herewith testimony of a survivor youth: “Walking one day in the town (he was in the camp in Gospić) I saw a group of my friends from Zagreb. They told me they had been in the camp in Jadovno with all the other youth from Zagreb. The living conditions there were disastrous. About ten days after their arrival to the camp, an ustaša officer Janko Mihajlović arrived there and recognized several of his Jewish acquaintances and schoolmates. He ordered the ten of them to be transferred to Gospić to sweep the streets there. They were mostly my friends and acquaintances. Several days after their arrival, one of them was released (Saša Blivajs) through his father’s intervention. The others asked to complete their number with several prisoners from their group, hoping to bring them to an easier work. They were allowed to have only one person added, but not from Jadovno. They decided to ask for me from the camp in Gospić (…) Thus I was added to the small group of “town sweepers”, as we named ourselves. Only much, much later I realized why ustaše did not allow anybody from Jadovno to join them, because all the prisoners in Jadovno were killed at the beginning of August.” Emil Freundlich, Tragedija židovskih omladinaca u Zagrebu, in Mi smo preživeli, Book 3, Beograd 2005.p.183.

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