The largest number of Jasenovac camp inmates were killed in the village of Donja Gradina, which is located opposite of the Camp III-Ciglana on the right bank of the Sava River. It was a swamp, slightly covered with trees and shrubs. It was completely isolated. Its population was either expelled or killed. It is surrounded by rivers - the Una in the west and the Sava in the north and east. In the south, in the direction of Prosara mountain, were many bunkers and trenches with strong Ustasha forces. Such a location and the appearance of Donja Gradina predestined it to be the execution site of Jasenovac because the screams and cries of poor victims who were killed in the most horrible ways couldn’t be heard from there.
       A platform on the Sava River served as a permanent connection between Camp III-Ciglana and Donja Gradina.

Масовна гробница  Масовна гробница у Доњој Градини

The first mass liquidation in Donja Gradina was commited by the lieutenant of the First Ustasha Defense Battalion, Stanko-Staniša Vasilj in January of 1942. Ustashas captured the residents of the Serbian village of Jablanac, closed them in the abandoned houses, and set them on fire. From then until the last day of the concentration camp, mass executions were conducted in Donja Gradina.

People chosen for liquidation were brought, by foot or train, to the "Grove of Sighs" that was right in front of the camp. There they would quietly wait for the ferry to transfer them to Donja Gradina. The ferry was an ordinary wooden raft, about 6 meters wide and 16 meters long, and it was connected with a thick iron cable to solid concrete pedestals on both sides of the riverbank. The ferry could carry 150 to 200 people at once. On the other side, Ustashas were waiting. Cadik “Braco” Danon reported,
“...The end of February 1942...
...When I came out of the last building, I saw a huge long channel or grave from where steam vapor was rising. When I moved closer, I saw a large number of murdered Serbian peasants from whom the steam was still vaporizing. It meant that they were just recently slaughtered. When I told this to group leader Bararon, he said, Well, it was Gradina. This is the largest killing site that exists here. They kill masses of people there, not even bringing them to the camp but directly transferring them from the wagons across the Sava and kill them there.”

Књига из тишине