Десанка Ђуричић

In the Independent State of Croatia from April of 1941 until May of 1945, 74,762 children younger than 14 years lost their lives: 60,234 were killed (42,791 Serbian children, 5,737 Roma children, 5,434 Muslim, 3,710 Jewish, 2,289 Croat, and for 237 children, the nationality could not be determined. According to longtime researcher Dragoje Lukić, at least 19,432 children of Serbian, Jewish and Roma origin were killed in the Jasenovac concentration camps. The only known case of the killing with gas in the Jasenovac camp was killing the children. Marijana Amulić, inmate at the Camp V-Stara Gradiška recalls, “The children lay helpless and without any strength дјеца to cry. They died slowly and quietly. Once, we were ordered to take all the sick children and place them in the attic room of the notorious Kula. Ante Vrba, commander of the camp, would later throw the poison gas into the room. After that, the camp was terribly silent, as if the camp ceased to exist.” At the hearing of Ante Vrba in 1947, Vrba admitted that he killed 63 children with Zyclon poison gas.

Many children were taken away to special camps which were located in Gornja Rijeka, Sisak, and Jastrebarsko. They were converted to Catholic and raised in the spirit of the Ustasha. Little children who didn’t know when they were born received a new date of birth, April 10, the date of establishment of the Independent State of Croatia. Placed in unsanitary conditions without food and clothing, the children were dying every day from various diseases and hunger.

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