Navigation graphics, see text links below

INDICTMENT against DINKO LJUBOMIR SAKIC
previous - next
Overview of witnesses’ testimonies:

He remembers when at the end of 1943 or in the spring of 1944 the internee Wollner was killed by the Ustashas and brought dead to the camp, after which the internees were mustered up and told he had tried to escape but he does not remember if anyone was executed on that occasion.

Regarding Dinko Sakic, the witness states that he arrived to the post of camp commander sometime in mid-1943 at the age of 24 or so. In his judgement, Sakic was a man who enjoyed a well-cut uniform, who liked to parade in front of the internees all neat and "spruced up". The witness used to see him occasionally around the camp, mainly in the area close to the headquarters building. He does not remember, however, seeing him during any of the musters, but he thinks that he must have attended them by virtue of his office.

In relation to major executions, he remembers one that was carried out in 1944 after contacts between the Ustasha hospital and the internee organization had been exposed, when 20 people were hanged on a scaffold specially built for that occasion resembling a large football goal. At the same moment the Ustasha hospital manager and his family was executed by hanging in front of the church in the town of Jasenovac. He does not know who ordered that execution, but he was present at it, as were several Ustasha officers.

In his testimony the witness particularly emphasizes that the guards supervising the work groups on dislocated camp farms differed in their attitude towards the internees, some of them had a good relationship with the internees, while some others were extremely bad and abused the internees ceaselessly. He points out that the guards were not accountable to anyone for their actions and that there were cases when they would kill an inmate during work outside the camp and would merely report upon return that "the group is reduced by such-and-such number of internees and that they were killed when trying to escape".

He also has knowledge of a group of 30-50 "Chetniks" who were brought into the camp but were always kept separate from other inmates. They were there for the purpose of establishing cooperation with the Ustasha authorities and organizing joint struggle against the Partisans. One night those "Chetniks" were taken out of the camp, naked and with their hands tied behind their backs, to Granik, where they were in all probability executed, for he noticed that they were no longer in the camp.

The witness was also aware of the existence of the so-called "Camp III C" inside the Jasenovac camp, which was a separate fenced-in compound containing a number of internees who were not housed in huts but lived and slept under awnings. Sometime in early 1943 that camp was closed down in the following manner: the inmates were no longer given food or water and they gradually perished.

Regarding the "Zvonara" building, the witness states that it was a jail inside the camp and that nobody came out of "Zvonara", but that there were no mass arrivals there either. Apart from that the witness has no concrete information on the purpose the building was used for.

Simo Klaic ? internee of the Stara Gradiacka camp from January 1942 to December 1944 ? states in his testimony that he was arrested by the Ustasha authorities on suspicion of being a member of the Union of the Communist Youth of Yugoslavia, because of which he was kept for some time in jail and then transferred first to the Jasenovac camp and then to the Stara Gradiška camp, where he was housed in the so called "K" hut in a cell with other eight inmates. At the time when he arrived in the camp its commander was Mile Oreackovic, while Dinko Sakic was either his deputy or the head of some administrative-political department.

He first saw Dinko Sakic in the Stara Gradiacka camp at the beginning of June 1942, while Sakic resided in the camp itself, in the camp headquarters. However, he does not know whether Dinko Sakic arrived in the camp at that time or had arrived earlier than that. As far as he knew, Dinko Sakic stayed in the camp until the end of October or the beginning of November 1942 when he left for the Jasenovac camp. Regarding Dinko Sakic, the witness cannot exactly say what duty he performed, but he stresses that he was among "the top brass" who decided on everything.

He provides a detailed description of the cruel treatment of internees and of their executions in 1942, describes the executions in the "tower" building and the gassing of children in 1942 in the Stara Gradiska camp. He describes the condition of the Stara Gradiska camp where hunger, typhus, dysentery and malaria reigned. In this respect, he points out that every couple of days the Ustashas would go round the camp and take the sick inmates into a building which they said was a hospital, but it was generally known it was nothing of the kind and that such internees were taken to the Sava River at night and executed there.

Witness Slavko Mikulic was arrested on 17 May 1942 in Zagreb by the Ustasha Security Service for his anti-Fascist activities. After police questioning he was deported with 14 other persons to the Jasenovac camp on 1 July 1942. After being searched - frisked, stripped of personal possessions and left for three days in the “tunnel”, he was detailed to work in group “X” – fitters. On 3 July 1942 a muster was called for the purpose of rounding up all the so called “three-year” internees – those sent to the camp for three years. Having rounded them up, the Ustashas encircled the group, took their names and marched them to the headquarters building where they tied them two-by-two with wire. No sooner than they set off towards Gradina when Picili ? the commander in charge of labor, ordered them back from where they started. That same evening this group underwent another selection process until there were only 16 of them left who were then loaded onto two railway cars where they remained until morning the next day when the Ustashe came and took everybody, with the exception of 12 internees, from the cars across the Sava to Gradina from where they never returned. The 12 inmates were returned for work in the camp where they remained until their escape on 10 August 1943.

He remembers that on 27 April 1943 a group of 100 internees, 50 from Jasenovac and 50 from Stara Gradiska, was singled out and taken to Zagreb, allegedly to be pardoned by Pavelic. However, he later discovered that this group had been sent to Zagreb to be used as hostages for retaliation if anything had happened for Labor Day. After that they were returned to the camps.

Furthermore, he remembers that sometime in November 1942 a group of internees, comprising only physically strong and healthy men, was selected for labor in Germany from “Camp III C” and other huts. When about 300 internees were selected, the Ustasha guards led them to Gradina from where none of those internees ever returned. This selection of internees was done by Ensign Maricic.

Concerning the conditions and regime in the Jasenovac camp, the witness states that the food rations were very meagre, that there were many sick internees and that some perished from starvation. The number of internees in the camp permanently varied between 2,500 and 3,000. He adds that some internees were never brought into the camp, such as, for instance Roma or the civilians rounded up around the Kozara mountain, but were sent to different destinations, some to work in Germany, some to the Stara Gradiska camp and some to Gradina for execution.

As an internee of the Jasenovac camp from August 1942 to the end of July 1943, witness Ljubomir Saric was heard before the investigating judge of the County Court in Zagreb on 16 July 1998 when he stated, inter alia, that he remembers that musters were called in the Jasenovac camp during which Ustasha officers would pick out internees who would then be marched off in a column to Gradina for execution. In addition to such musters, there were ones organized for the purpose of punishing internees for their disrespect to the Ustasha authorities or escape attempts. On such occasions the perpetrators were executed in front of the other internees after it had been proclaimed “which rule such an internee had violated”. Musters of the latter kind were called throughout his detention in the camp.

He also describes the events of the summer of 1942 when executions en masse of the civilians after the Kozara mountain offensive were carried out.

As a ten year-old girl, witness Mirjana Radman was transferred from the Djakovo camp to the Jasenovac camp, via Jaska where she was held for a few days. She came to Jasenovac in July 1942 together with other children, after she had been separated from her family in Djakovo, and remained there until December 1942. From those days she remembers that the children were mustered sometimes separately and sometimes together with the adults. During such musters some adult internees were singled out but she does not know where they were taken nor what happened to them.

She was released from the Jasenovac camp in December 1942 when her father came for her with documents attesting her Croatian origin. The group of children that she was part of remained in the camp after she had left and she has no knowledge of what happened to them. Her mother, who had been arrested several times, died of natural causes after the war, and her grandmother, uncles, cousin and aunts perished in the Jasenovac and Auschwitz camps. She heard of Dinko Sakic this year via the media.

Witness Jakov Finci, an internee of the Jasenovac and Stara Gradiacka camps from 5 March 1942 to 22 April 1945, states that he was arrested in Sarajevo by the Ustasha Police because of his ethnic background and deported to the Jasenovac camp where he was detailed to bury the dead inmates for the first ten days or so. At the beginning of April 1942 he was transferred to the Stara Gradiska camp where he was detailed to work in the cobbler’s shop until 23 September 1944 when all the internees of the Stara Gradiska camp were deported to the Jasenovac and Lepoglava camps, except for the Serbs, who had been executed.

Upon his arrival in the Jasenovac camp, the commander was Dinko Sakic who remained at that post until mid-November 1944, when he left the Jasenovac camp. The conditions of life in the Jasenovac camp were extremely harsh there was no water, the food was very bad, without any bread, and the camp was full of filth and disease ridden.

He remembers that when he arrived in the Jasenovac camp he heard that an execution of 19 internees by hanging had been carried out on 21 September 1944 for an alleged preparation of an uprising in the camp. Regarding that incident, he stresses that he heard that Doctor Mile Boackovic was shot dead by Dinko Sakic himself, while the other 18 internees, among whom were Remzija Rebac, Ladislav Matej, Heinrich Musafija, Nikola Pejnovic and one internee by the name of Adzija, were hanged. At the same time, Doctor Marin Jurcev and his wife and several civilians who had maintained contacts with the hanged group of internees were hanged in the town of Jasenovac. Following that execution by hanging terror against the inmates intensified, the Ustashas would beat the internees and shackle the feet of those internees who were taken outside the camp for work to prevent them from escaping.

From that period – end-September 1944 – he remembers that he saw an the internee Albert Izrael hanging dead in the camp compound where he had been executed without any explanation and without the presence of other internees; his body was left to hang there for two days. He also remembers that, at the beginning of October 1944, three internees, who had been tortured prior to execution, were hanged in front of the female compound and the building housing the tailor's and cobbler's shops. This execution was attended by camp commander Dinko Sakic, Ensign Ljudevit Neorcic, a.k.a Lajco, Corporal Mandic, Corporal Car and several Ustasha guards. On that occasion the Ustashas were driving nails into a post while the camp commander addressed the lined up internees with the following words: “these three internees that were brought here did not respect the Ustasha authority and this is why they ended up in the camp, but now they tried to escape”… “let it be known to everyone that no one, not even a bird, can escape from Jasenovac, for Jasenovac is hermetically sealed”. When the three were lifted up on the scaffold, he remembers one of them uttered his last words of good-bye, my children and Sakic retorted:" Why didn' t you think of your children before.

Eight days after the above hanging, another internee was hanged on the same place and from the same post; this time it was a tailor who had made a new cap for an Ustasha without prior permission of the Ustasha supervisor. This hanging was carried out by Corporal Mile Frkovic, a.k.a. Frkan and three Ustasha guards.

In addition to the foregoing, the witness recalls a massive autumn execution which took place in 1944, beginning in early October, and carried out in two phases. The first phase lasted about 25 days, followed by a respite lasting 20 days or so, after which the second phase of the liquidation commenced which lasted for about 15 days. To wit, the Ustashas would come to the huts and other parts of buildings where the internees slept with previously drafted lists and pick out and take away internees by consulting the lists. Such internees would be herded into the warehouse in the center of the camp where they would be stripped naked and their hands tied with wire, upon which they would be marched to the place named “granik”. There victims were taken one by one to the edge of the “granik”, their stomachs was slit open and they would be tossed into the Sava. This execution campaign started while Dinko Sakic was still in command of the camp and it was finished after his departure.

In his testimony the witness particularly emphasizes an event related to the alleged escape attempt by the internee Wollner, of which he heard from fellow-inmates. Namely, already in August 1944 a muster of Jewish internees was called under the command of Dinko Sakic when 25 Jews were singled out and reportedly executed. During that muster Dinko Sakic personally shot dead two internees, one of whom had said something to the other, who laughed at that, after which both were brought out of the line-up and shot dead.

Heard in her capacity as witness, Milka Scapcic states in her testimony that she was interned in the Jasenovac camp in the spring of 1943 at the age of twelve. Upon arrival she was sent to the female compound and taken to some stables behind the church in the town of Jasenovac. Initially she worked picking corn in the village of Ustice and unloading the goods from the ferry. She remained at such tasks until the end of 1943 when she was relocated to Kozarska Street where she was told she would be with other children two of them aged five and four respectively. She also remembers going from that house every day to the Ustasha headquarters to fetch bread and milk, where she used to see Dinko Sakic, whom they also called Ljubo . She remembers the said Sakic when he accompanied an Ustasha guard who was escorting an inmate to his execution. What remains etched in her memory was the hanging of five people a doctor, his wife and other three people in 1944. She was not present at the hanging but she heard from some Ustasha soldiers that Dinko Sakic was present at the hanging, who, as far as she knows, had come to Jasenovac from Stara Gradiacka, but she cannot state precisely whether at the end of 1943 or 1944.

As an internee of the Jasenovac and Stara Gradiska camps, witness Vladimir Cvija states that he was deported to the Jasenovac camp by train on 29 May 1942, where he was detailed to work as a clerk in the construction group. When he arrived there misery and starvation were widespread in the camp and after two months of detention he almost died as a result of such conditions. What he remembers of the Jasenovac camp were musters – line-ups of internees called for reasons unknown to him when a certain number of internees would be taken away and, as he learned, ferried across the Sava to Gradina and executed there. Such musters were frequent in 1942 and 1943, but almost ceased in 1944. In addition he remembers musters called with intent to mete out punishment to internees; of such musters he vividly remembers one when Ensign Maricic ordered an inmate to kneel down and fired a round from his pistol into the back of the internees head. Also, another incident he remembers was when Majstorovic shot dead three inmates in the middle of having lunch and then resumed eating.

Regarding Dinko Sakic he states that he saw him once or twice, that he was a "well-dressed young man" , that the camp word had it that he was cruel and possessed of juvenile ambition, that he was also camp commander but is unable to determine precisely when.

Mirko Persen, a former inmate of the Stara Gradiska camp heard in his capacity as witness, states that he was, as a Communist Party sympathizer, arrested on 8 March 1943 by the Ustasha Security Service in Zagreb and incarcerated in the prison in “N” Square. On 31 June 1943 he was transferred to the Stara Gradiska camp and remained there until November 1944, after losing the status of camp internee pursuant to a June pardon by Pavelic. He highlights an event which took place in the Stara Gradiacka camp in September 1944 when more than 200 internees singled out and were driven out of the camp and, he thinks, executed.

Dragutin Skrgatic was interned in the Stara Gradiacka camp from 17 May 1942 to November 1943, in the Jasenovac camp from November 1943 to January 1944, in the Stara Gradiska camp from January to November 1944 and in the Jasenovac camp from November 1944 to April 1945. From the period of his internment he remembers an event which took place in May 1942 when, under the orders issued by Ante Vrban, 150 children were killed with the zyklon gas. He also remembers that in November 1943 in the Jasenovac camp, at the time under the command of Brkljacic, executions of internees were carried out at night either at Gradina, across the Sava river, or at the place named "granik" . He stresses that he personally did not witness the said executions, but that he remembers seeing dead bodies floating in the Sava river or lying on the banks while he was en route to the woods where he was detailed to fell timber.

In respect of 1944, the witness states that he was transferred back to the Jasenovac camp which was then under the command of Hinko Dominik Picili and that from that period he remembers executions which were carried out in the same manner as before, but he points out that in January and the beginning of February 1945 a gradual liquidation of the camp commenced aimed at removing the evidence from the camp. He recalls that dead bodies were excavated at Gradina, doused with oil and burned. A delegation comprising Luburic, Majstorovic, Ljubo Miloac, Picili and Pudic visited the camp about its liquidation. The task of excavating the bodies was given mostly to Jews who would first be fed well and executed after they had done the job. Then another group would be brought in with the same task and destined to meet the same fate.

previous - next


Ministry of Justice | Trial Documents | General Information | HINA News | Jasenovac | Links
(c) 1999. Croatian Institute for Culture and Information