The director of the Museum of Genocide Victims in Belgrade Dejan Ristić has said that the recently discovered list of 5,800 Serbian children, who were rescued from the death camps of the Independent State of Croatia by the Austrian-born humanitarian Diana Budisavljević, has largely been digitized and that a large number of citizens from all parts of the world expressed a desire to see the list.
“Yad Vashem did not put Schindler’s list online, just as Anne Frank’s diary was not put online either. We will not make the list publicly available on the internet, among other things, due to the possibility of numerous abuses. Anyone can come and inspect the list and a digital copy,” Ristić told reporters in Banjaluka.
He pointed out that a large number of people have already accessed the list. They are citizens of Serbia and Republika Srpska, and requests are coming from all parts of the world.
“It is important that this archival document is in our possession. We searched for it for 80 years. We managed to find it and that is not the end of the search,” Ristić pointed out.
He has added that the Museum of Genocide Victims has about 200,000 artifacts without which research on suffering in the World War II cannot be imagined, and not only on the suffering of Serbs, but also Jews and Roma.
“Last year, we enriched our funds with thousands of artifacts. This is one of the most significant, perhaps even the most significant in the previous year. This speaks of the importance of the institution, its relevance and the fact that the Museum of Genocide Victims does not operate exclusively within the Serbian ethnic framework, but globally, and that it is an extremely respected institution all over the world,” concluded Ristić.
Diana Budisavljević’s original list with the names of 5,800 Serbian children, which has recently been obtained by the Museum of Genocide Victims in Belgrade, was thought to have been lost or destroyed. It was created in the middle of 1942 after the Battle of Kozara and it contains the names and surnames of the children, their parents, the date and name of the camp from which they were rescued, as well as the age and identity of the Croatian adoptive parents.
According to available data, 250 to 300 children, former prisoners of death camps in the Independent State of Croatia, are still alive.
Diana Budisavljević was a humanitarian of Austrian origin, married to a doctor of Serbian nationality in Zagreb. During the World War II, she saved more than 10,000 children from Ustashe death camps in the Independent State of Croatia.
She kept a file on the children, with the hope that one day they could be reunited with their biological families, but that documentation was taken from her in May 1945 by order of the Ministry of Social Policy of Croatia.