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The Serbian-Croatian Controversy over Jasenovac

Chapter

Abstract

Among the many controversial problems in the history of Yugoslavia during World War Two few issues seem to agitate the minds in Serbia and Croatia as much as the Jasenovac camp, the largest of the concentration camps run by the Ustaša regime in the so-called Independent State of Croatia (NDH). The disagreements concern both the size and the character of the camp: was it primarily an extermination camp, where people were brought in order to be killed, like Auschwitz, or was it rather a labour camp comparable with the Soviet gulag, where the prisoners were set to work and died of exhaustion, malnutrition, and the guards’ generally cruel treatment? Those who adhere to the former view, unsurprisingly, tend to operate with very high death numbers, running from several hundred thousand up to more than a million. The labour camp thesis normally leads to much lower estimates, down to 30–40,000 deaths. A few Croatian extremists have claimed that not more than a few thousand died in Jasenovac.1 The official list of victims published by the Jasenovac memorial centre today includes the names of 72,193 persons, of whom 40,251 are identified as Serbs, 14,750 as Roma, 11,723 as Jews, and 3,583 as Croats.2

Keywords

Mass Grave Concentration Camp Burial Ground Labour Camp Holocaust Denial 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    See e.g. Mladen Ivezić, ‘Profiteri Jasenovačke laži’, Hrvatski list (21 June 2007), pp. 27–34.Google Scholar
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    According to one count, by 2000 there had been published 1,188 monographs on Jasenovac, along with 1,482 articles. Jovan Mirković, Objavljeni izvori i literatura o jasenovačkim logorima (Belgrade and Banja Luka, 2000), www.jerusalim.org/cd/izvori/index_l.html, pp. 329–497 [accessed on 19 May 2010].Google Scholar
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    Milan Bulajić, Ustaški zločini genocida: suđenje Andriji Artukoviću (Belgrade: Rad, 1988).Google Scholar
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    See e.g. Fred Singleton, A Short History of the Yugoslav Peoples (Cambridge University Press, 1989), p. 177; Ivo Goldstein, Croatia, a Short History (London: C. Hurst, 2001), p. 137. This division into three parts is identical with the Jewish policy often attributed to the Russian statesman Konstantin Pobedonostsev.Google Scholar
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    Bulatović, Koncentracioni logor, p. 11; Večan pomen: Jasenovac, Mjesto natopljeno krvjlu nevinih (Belgrade: Sveti arhijerejski sinod Srpske pravoslavne crkve, 1990), p. 5.Google Scholar
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© Pål Kolstø 2011

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