The Genocide Victims Museum Belgrade came into possession of the original list made by Diana Budisavljević with the names of and information about 5,800 Serb children saved from the Ustasha death camps in the Independent State of Croatia, which was thought to be lost or destroyed, announced today Dejan Ristić, the director of the Genocide Victims Museum in Belgrade.
Ristić stated that the list of Serb children was created in the Institute for deaf and dumb children in Zagreb as part of the “Diana Budisavljević action” and was presented to the public for the first time today.
According to him, the list contains the names and surnames of the children, their parents, the date and name of the camp which they were rescued from, as well as the age and identity of the Croat adoptive parents.
Ristić stated the list of children was created in the second half of 1942, after the Battle of Kozara, which is a first-class historical source, hitherto unknown to the public, which was thought to have disappeared during the Second World War.
“We are able now, for the first time, offer living children, who are now old people and who are still searching for their identity, as well as their descendants, to offer information about their real identity,” said Ristić at the press conference.
The Genocide Victims Museum received the list last year, which is a first-rate historical source that was thought to have been destroyed during the Second World War. Ristić refused to reveal how the Museum got it.
“We had been searching for it for an extremely long time. We managed to find it with the enormous support of the Serbia’s state authorities. It was outside the national territory and was brought to the it,” Ristić said.
mong the thousands of artifacts that bear witness to crimes against Serbs and other peoples in the Second World War, which the Genocide Victims Museum presented to the public today on the occasion of the Remembrance Day of the Victims of the Holocaust, Genocide and Other Crimes, are the earrings that used to belong to the Serb girl, Radmila Radonjić, from the list.
Ristić stated that two-year-old Radmila was rescued, but her health condition was so bad after being abused in the Ustasha camp that she died.
Today, the weapons used by the Croatia’s Ustasha for the liquidation of Serbs and other prisoners in Jasenovac and Jastrebarski were also presented, among which the “Srbosjek/Serb cutter”, which is now the only specimen on Serbian soil, the dagger of the famous Ustasha criminals from Jastrebarski – the Javor brothers, as well as a brick of the Bačić Kiln – the epicenter of the Jasenovac execution site, which was donated to the museum last year by His Eminence Bishop Jovan of Pakrac.
A large number of copies of correspondence from the camps where officers of the Yugoslav Army were imprisoned were also presented, as well as other artifacts, including the complete archive material from the first state commemoration of the Kragujevac victims, organized in London in November 1942.
Among the acquired artifacts is the Report on the Ustasha crime in eastern Herzegovina – in a village near Gacko, where the Ustasha precisely stated the date and place of the crime, the modus operandi of killings, and listed all the members of the unit that committed it.
“The report was obtained from Canada. All members of the Ustasha unit were Muslims,” stated Ristić and added that it was a report by an Ustasha officer who described in detail the massacre of Serb civilians committed at the beginning of the summer of 1941 in a village in Herzegovina.
He pointed out that the material, which was acquired last year more than in the previous 30 years since the establishment of the Museum, will be used both for exhibition and for researchers.
Diana Budisavljević was a humanitarian of Austrian origin, married to a doctor of Serb ethnic background in Zagreb, who during the Second World War saved more than 10,000 children from Ustasha death camps in the Independent State of Croatia.
The children she was trying to save were mostly Serbs from areas where the Independent State of Croatia was committing genocide against Serbs.
Diana Budisavljević kept a reciord on the children, with the hope that one day they could be returned to their biological families, but the documents were taken from her on the order of the Ministry of Social Policy of Croatia on May 28.
Source: srna.rs Photo: srna.rs