Donja Gradina was a part of the notorious Ustasha Jasenovac concentration camp where about 700,000 innocent victims were killed in the most cruel ways. The area of Donja Gradina that covered about 808 acres, since it was secured with a system of interconnected bunkers, made a convenient place for the Ustasha executioners to conduct their beastly tortures and executions during World War II. The inmates were transported from Jasenovac to Donja Gradina by ferry across the Sava River where they were immediately killed. A large number of victims didn’t even enter the Jasenovac camp, but were immediately taken to Donja Gradina and murdered. It is found that about 366,000 inmates were executed here.

The whole area of Donja Gradina is covered with graves that have not yet been completely explored. Inside the memorial complex, about half of the grave fields are recorded, and mostly the largest mass graves had been explored and basic information documented. There are three types of graves in the area of Donja Gradina:

1) those in which living people were thrown, packed next to each other and killed with a sledgehammer or some other dull object;
2) those in which murdered and deceased prisoners were thrown;
3) and those in which cooked and burned bones, remains of the "soap factory," and burned corpses were buried.

Donja Gradina was declared a memorial area in 1975 (The Act of construction and financing the Memorial Site Donja Gradina, Official Gazette SR BiH No. 13/75) after which restoration started.

The Donja Gradina Memorial Site (narrow zone) extends to 117 acres. In nine grave fields are 105 large mass graves that cover a surface area of 10,130 m². Later, another 22 graves, whose size has not yet been defined, were discovered.

After the disintegration of SFRY in 1991, the Jasenovac Memorial Site was geographically and administratively divided into two independent institutions: the Jasenovac Memorial Site in the Republic of Croatia and the Donja Gradina Memorial Site in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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