Jasenovac is known for having been one of the most barbaric death camps of the Holocaust, due the extreme cruelty in which its victims were tortured and murdered. It did not have operational gas chambers, meaning that the camp prisoners were executed in front of the firing squads, or having being subjected to the horror executions by the Croatian nazi ustase humans butchers. The acts of murder and cruelty in the camp reached their peak in the late summer of 1942, when tens of thousands of Serbian villagers were deported to Jasenovac from the area where ustase and Nazis have been fighting against the partisans, in the area of Kozara mountains (Bosnia and Herzegovina). Most of deported men were brutally killed at Jasenovac. The women, who haven't been killed, were sent to forced labor camps in Germany, children were taken from their mothers: some were murdered and others were dispersed in orphanages throughout the country. The names of some 20,000 murdered children of all three nationalities collected, thus far by historians, provides only a hint of the scale of the crimes committed there against children.
From the historic references: "On the night of August 29, 1942, bets were made among the prison guards as to who could liquidate the largest number of camp prisoners. One of the guards named Petar Brzica reportedly cut the throats of 1,360 prisoners with a especially designed butcher knife. Having been proclaimed the prize-winner of the competition, he was named "King of the Cut-throats". A gold watch, a silver service, a roasted suckling pig, and wine were among his rewards."...report ends. There was also a unique child and infant sub-camp where babies were executed by being burned. Also children have been taken to the neighbouring forest and then killed, one by one, using the hit by the"malj"— mallet in to the children's head. Level of atrocities and brutality was unprecedented yet.
The creation of the camp and its management and supervision were entrusted to, so called, 'Department III' of a special police force called Ustaška Narodna Služba or UNS (translated as "Ustaše People's Service"). This organization was led by Vjekoslav "Maks" Luburić. Several others were involved in commanding the camp at different times, including Miroslav Majstorović and Dinko Šakić. The targets of Ustaše regime were mostly Serbs living on the territory of WWII Nazi Independent State of Croatia. Other included Jews, Bosniaks, Gypsies, and opponents of the Ustaše Nazi regime, particularly communists. Jews have been sent to Jasenovac from all parts of Croatia after being gathered in Zagreb, and from Bosnia and Herzegovina after being gathered in Sarajevo. Some were taken directly from other cities and smaller towns. On their arrival most were killed at execution sites near the camp: Granik, Gradina, and other execution areas. Those kept alive were mostly skilled doctors, pharmacists, electricians, shoemakers, goldsmiths...being used as slaved labour at Jasenovac. From the end of 1942, Jews have been started being deported to the Auschwitz concentration camp.
Children in JasenovacFollowing the practice of other Nazi concentration camps around Europe prisoners werer marked with 'racial badges'. At first they were marked with colors: blue for the Serbs, red for communists, while Gypsies had no marks. In the later stages of the camp this way of marking the prisoners was neglected. Upon arrival in the camp prisoners were systematically stolen of their possessions, forced to the slave labour, while they were waiting for the certain death. The conditions in the camp were catastrophic: hardly any food, barn accommodations, and sadistic cruel regime implemented by the Ustaše guards. Average prisoners life expectancy in the camp was not longer then 60 days. Horrors of Jasenovac and numbers of victims closely followed horrors of most notorious concentration camps of Europe, Auschwitz and Treblinka.