The film “Gift from Jasenovac” premiered on RTS on February 20 and in the first moments broadcasting caused a great deal of public attention. The film sheds light on some of the darkest events in the Balkans during World War II, recalling the huge the suffering of Serbs, Roma and Jews in Jasenovac under the rule of the Independent State of Croatia.
The plot of the film follows a ten-year-old girl, Dara, who, after the Croatian-German offensive on Kozara, ends up in a concentration camp with her family. After her they kill mother and older brother, the meaning of her life becomes that in conditions of terror and absolute destruction of everything human, saves the life of his younger brother. All the events in the film are written on the basis of authentic testimonies of camp survivors.
Based on true events, in realization are, in addition known and unknown detainees, a large number also appear historical figures, and as it sometimes happens – reality can often be more shocking and scary than of what is shown.
These are real personalities who appear in the film “Dara iz Jasenovac” and their destinies afterwards World War II:
Miroslav Filipović (played by Vuk Kostić in the film) Franciscan, Ustasha and for a time a camp commander Jasenovac and the Stara Gradiška camp. He has been a priest since 1939. He took a religious name from Tomislav, under which it was known until 1942. After its establishment The NDH joined the Ustasha army. He is responsible for mass crimes against the Serb population, especially in the villages around Banja Luka. They say that’s why they called him out. “from Satan ”. It is officially excluded from of the Franciscan Order and afterwards devoted himself entirely the Ustasha movement.
Some sources state that during his command of in just four months, 20,000 to 30,000 were killed in Jasenovac detainees although these figures vary. He was famous for unseen atrocities and that he combined religion with the extreme political ideology. The survivors of the camp later testified that he killed prisoners countless times with his own hands, out of pure fun.
In the beginning in May 1945 he fled to Austria, and handed it over to the British, who took it extradited to the Yugoslav authorities. He was brought before the military court where he is sentenced to death by hanging.
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Vjekoslav “Max” Luburić
Vjekoslav “Maks” Luburić (he plays him in the film Marko Janketić) was one of najbrutalnijih ustaških zapovednika, an officer and almost the whole war commander of the system of concentration camps among which he is the largest was Jasenovac.
There is not much information about his youth. According to Serbian sources, before the war it was known as an ordinary criminal and was punished for various crimes. According to Croatian sources, he worked like a dishwasher in a restaurant and later as a clerk in a savings bank for health insurance.
When Ante Pavelic fled to emigration, followed him and underwent training in various Ustasha camps in Hungary. He also got a nickname in one of them. “Max”. Luburic was the founder, and later the death of Mijo Babić, and the commander of the concentration camps in the Independent State of Croatia, and from the end of 1941, he commanded the Ustasha defense, which was the third section of the Ustasha supervisory service. The Ustasha Defense, later renamed the Ustasha Defense Lathe, participated in operations against Chetniks and Partisans, and also managed concentration camps camps and carried out mass terror.
On his own initiative, while in exile, designed the Jasenovac concentration camp system and published that plan in September 1941. It was the first commander of Jasenovac and he was only responsible for the work Ange Pavelic, who extremely appreciated his “abilities”. With on the other hand, even Nazi observers characterized it as “the great sadist ”and the“ nervous patient ”.
After the war, he commanded “crusaders”- pro-Ustasha units that waged a guerrilla war against the new Yugoslav state, but were eventually forced to fled to Spain. From there, he led the Ustasha terrorist organization for years – Croatian national resistance.
His activity is probably attracted the attention of the Yugoslav secret services. He was killed in his villa in Spain on April 20, 1969, by being killed hammer-smashed head.
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Dinko Sakic (he plays it in the movie Petar Đurđević) he was the commander of the Jasenovac concentration camp. Thanks to family ties with Luburić (he was married to his half-sister Nada) after 1941 quickly climbed in the Ustasha hierarchy. From In February 1942, he was in Jasenovac on various duties, and from April 1944 he became its commander.
After the war, he managed to with he fled to Argentina with his wife, where he opened a small textile factory and lived peacefully. In later decades, he told the media that for no reason does he regret “doing the same thing again.” In 1998, thanks to the efforts of the center Simon Wiesenthal, was arrested and extradited to Croatia. Sakic was sentenced to prison 20 years for war crimes against civilians. He died at the Remetinec Prison Hospital in Zagreb at the age of 86 on July 21, 2008. His funeral was attended by numerous Croatian right-wingers, and was buried in full Ustasha uniform from World War II.
Nada Sakic born Tambic (there is a game in the movie Alisa Radaković) she was guard of the women’s camp Stara Gradiška, wife of Dinko Sakic and half-sister of Vjekoslav Luburic. During her stay in the camp, although very young, she stayed remembered for unseen atrocities. Say that enjoyed torture and often killed for no reason.
Together with the camp warden Marija Maja Buždon and guard Božica Obradović (there is a game in the movie Ana Lečić) she did “black threesome ” young women who are praised the crimes and atrocities committed.
She was never tried for the crimes she committed. She managed to escape from the country and emigrated to Argentina. In mid-1998, Yugoslavia sought her extradition, but Croatia did the same. Hope is delivered Zagreb only to be found there to have no evidence against her. After that she lived in a nursing home and died in 2011 at the age of 84.
Ante Vrban (he plays it in the movie Igor Djordjevic) he was a major of the Ustasha army and a deputy commander of the Stara Gradiška camp.
Before the war, he worked as a clerk. Since 1941. he joined the Ustashas, and his name is associated with mass killings in the first place Serbs and Jews. He was in the Stara Gradiška camp from November 1941.
After the collapse of the Independent State of Croatia, he withdrew to Austria, but in 1946 he returned briefly to Croatia yes establish a connection with the “crusaders”. In 1947, he was captured by the UDBA and he was tried before the Croatian Supreme Court. According to available sources, he admitted at trial that he was during his stay in the Stara Gradiška camp, he poisoned 63 sick children. He was sentenced to death by hanging. The date of his death is 31 August 1948.
Diana Budisavljević (the film stars Sanja Moravčić) was the only bright spot in the horror called Jasenovac. She was a humanitarian of Austrian origin married to surgeon Julij Budisavljević, head of the surgical clinic of the Medical Faculty in Zagreb.
It is estimated that it is over During World War II, she saved over 15,000 children from Ustasha death camps what her action by number saves lives among the greatest exploits related to the camps during World War II.
The rescued children were mostly placed in Croatian families, but also churches, monasteries… To save data on to the children she cared for, she kept a file on them, with the hope that one day it might be returned to their biological families. Sorry, those files it was taken away by the new Yugoslav authorities after the war, and her offer yes help in identifying children is not accepted.
After World War II, she went to Innsbruck where she lived quietly and secluded. They say yes until her death she did not recover from the consequences of visiting the camp. She rarely talked about what she was worked during the war and was forgotten for decades. She died on August 20, 1978, at the age of 87.
It was only at the beginning of the 21st century that people started talking about her great endeavor, after which she did posthumously awarded several decorations. In 2019, a film was made “Diary of Diana Budisavljević “, and a little before that the documentary” Diana’s Children “.
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