In this small village the Ustasha killed in the most cruel manner 137 Serbian villagers, mostly children at the age of 15.
One of the worst crimes during the WWII were committed on 3. April 1942, when Ustasha (Croatian NAZI armed forces) were passing through this area. The Croatian leader’s Ante Pavelic battalion under the command of Antonije Mosk was in charge to ethnically clean this area. Therefore, they massacred 121 men, women and children. 73 of them were slaughtered by the Ustasha in the forest near the village, after being beaten and forced to dig for a mass grave pit for their beloved ones and themselves.
On the same day Croats had captured Serbian peasants in their homes, in the fields and killed them both by firearms and knives, hammers and picks. Total: 48 massacred peasants of Serbian ethnicity.
The Pavelic Ustasha battalions that were less familiar with that part of the Serbian Krajina and local villages were provided with help of the Ustasha Company from the area Cetingrad and Slunj, who knew every Serbian village, pathways and their Serbian neighbors.
Vjekoslav “Maks” Luburić, notorious Croatian Ustasha, ‘ general’, commander of the Jasenovac concentration camp, commander of the Croatian Crusaders, here with a cut off Serbian head.
Ustasha Marko Hrvojević from Lađevačko Selište testified:
” There were the guides Joco Mocni, Joso Cindric, Mijo Cindric and Mica Cindric. I personally have killed with a hoe two women and four children. When I entered the house the women and children went out of the house, and Joco Mocni from Slunj called out: “Kill them, damn Serbs!” First I killed those two women and four children, by hitting them with a hoe in the back of their heads. Women and children were crying and begged me, saying, “Don’t brother, may God save you!” And I didn’t do anything but continued with hammering their heads … ”
Serbian child Bastaja Dusan, massacred by Croatian Ustasha on 3. april 1942.
One of the very few survivors of the horrors of mass atrocity, then nine years old girl Milica Pekeč-Vranješ in tears and with great pain, mustered the strength and spoke out nineteen years after the massacre:
“I remember well the early morning of 3rd April 1942. year, when we were surprised by the Croats Ustasha and raised in the early morning. The children were still sleeping. All night I could not sleep, I was very fearful, because we always had to flee. There were 11 persons in my house that morning. The Croats took us barefoot in the frosty morning near Batnoga. We were brought in Kalic springs. There we met all the others from our village that have been caught by the Ustashe . There they argued about where to kill us. They couldn’t agree, because we were near the local water springs.
A Croat Jure Krunić, cattle keeper advised the Ustashe not to slaughter us near the springs. He already had his place in the forest for this purpose, he said. …. …. My grandfather and grandmother could not walk due to their age so they were then taken little further into the bush where they were slaughtered. Then we were Ustashi surrounded and in front of them as a guide to the pit went Jure Krunic. Jeka Pekeč , young woman (30) had three children, and a fourth one was to be born any day.
Serbian woman in the hands of Ustasha, Krajina (today Croatia), April 3. 1942.
Her older girl walked next to her, meanwhile she was carrying the youngest child because it was just a baby that could not walk.
Jure Krunic was leading the column. Very soon he stopped, took a the child and threw it on a flat rock, and took the sharp edged spade and struck the child on the belly. The child died.
We were ordered to sit on the ground in a valley. Some have claimed that they converted from the Orthodox to the Catholic faith and begged for their lives, but Croats laughed and told them: “Leave that for the future! It will be good.”
They divided us into five groups. I was in the fourth group. They put two girls, Ljuba Kresojević 17 years, and Maca Mrkobrad 19 years old, to stand beside the pit and watch what is done to women and children. They were forced to watch the slaughter of their parents and family till the last one, and Croats finally slaughtered them too. My older sister of 14 was in the group before, together with our brother Nikola, and she was carrying our 6 months old brother, and my brother Dragan, who was 6 years old, was with me. These two brothers came under the Ustasha knife, and me and little brother Dragan in the second turn.
Kresoja Stojan Stanko, slaughtered by the Ustashas and survived
When we came near the cave we were told to lie face down. Then one Ustasha – our neighbor- prod her neck with a knife. Probably because we were sure that we’re going to die we were paralyzed of fear and suffering. Little Dusan Pekeč aged about 10 jumped to flee,but he was stabbed repeatedly with knives. Those just massacred and stabbed Serbs were thrown into the pit immediately by the Croats.
(They took me to the back and threw me to the dead ones. I was stung by Ustasha knife at five spots in the neck and in two places in the forearm. Here, take a look, professor Djuro, stabbing scars can be seen even today, and it’s 18 April 1961. – it’s been 19 years since then.)
There were several slaughtered in front of me. While the Ustashi slayed me by my neck the blood was roaring out of the mouth and nose, but I was conscious all the time. And at the moment when blood flowed I knew I was still alive. When all the Serbs were slaughtered, including two girls Ljuba and Maca, then another knife poked all those who were not moving and showing signs of life. I, although conscious, did not budge. I heard them saying: ” No one is alive. “After all they thrown the two girls in the pit, sang and left.
After some time I managed to get up and I sat covered in blood on a pile of dead and saw his brother Dragan beside him. He was still alive. He leaves it in his mouth and he was covered in blood. I removed the leaves from his mouth and asked, “Could you come with me?” And he made hardly noticeable overhead that it’s impossible.
I saw Ljubomir Bastaja who managed to raise, taking from his slaughtered aunt’s Kuna pocket something. He asked me if I go. We slowly headed up the forest. After that ran to us my friend Vlado Bastaja, he was nine years old, and was stabbed in the neck and ribs.
Then we started to hear the voices of the still living from the pit. Later on, we heard that some of the survivors in nhe following few days were coming out of the mass grave pit, and the Ustashas caught and killed those battered, bruised bloody and already half a dead people.
There was a rumor that Soka Bastaja, my grandmother emerged from the pit, but she was stabbed and beaten untill her whole body was unrecognizable and totally broken. It is known that my little brother Dragan emerged from the pit, but on the third day Croats from Batnog killed him and and threw into the slurry.
Massacred Serbian peasants, April 3, 1942.
The three of us wandered out into the woods near Žalčeva Kosa water where we washed the blood and came near Žrvnica and Požar villages in Vučji jarak. As we approached my house we were noticed by the Ustashe and they shot us. We ran away through the woods and came to the village Gojkovac, and then Klokoč. There I met my mother and brother Milan, who managed to escape the Ustasha thugs. Afterwards some women washed us, took care of our wounds and cut our bloody and sticky hair. I continued with other Serbian villagers to flee from the Ustasha knife. ”
“Milica, how is your health now?”
“You see, it’s not as bad as I’ve gone through. Sometimes when the weather changes I move and and I eat slower, I guess something gets stuck in the throat. Timbre is a little different. During this tragedy, I was nine, and now I’m twenty-eight years. ”
In the woods near the village Latićki Batnog Ustashas slaughtered and thrown into a pit the following Serbian civilians on 3rd April 1942.:
1. BastajaMile Anka, 10 years old
1.Bastaja Mile Bogdan, 5 years old
3. Bastaja Bosiljka Mile, 1 year old
4. Bastaja Cvijeta, 55 years
5. Bastaja Mile Draga, 9 years
6. Bastaja Petar Dragica, 6 years
7. Bastaja Mile Dusan, 11 years old
8. Bastaja Petar Dusan 5 years
9. Ljuba Bastaja Mile, 3 years
10. Bastaja Peter Mira, 1 year
11. Bastaja Mica Mica, 15 years
12. Bastaja Petar Mica, 10 years
13. Bastaja Rade Mico, 43
14. Bastaja Mika, 42 years old
15. Petar Bastaja Milan, 4 years
16. Bastaja Janka Mile, 40 years
17. Laze Bastaja Mile, 16 years old
18. Mice Bastaja Mile, 15 years
19. Bastaja Rade Milic, 37 years old
20. Bastaja Janka Milka, 35 years
21. Mice Bastaja Petar, 9 years
22. Mice Bastaja Petar, 2 years
23. Laze Bastaja Rade, 19 years
24. Bastaja Milutin Sofija, 43 years old
25. Bastaja Todor Sofia, 50 years old
26. Mice Bastaja Soka, 17 years
27. Bastaja Stojan Stanko, 42 years old
28. Kresoja Marka Bosiljka, 15 years
29. Darinka Marka Kresoja, 17 years
30. Dragica Marka Kresoja, 17 years
31. Dusan Marka Kresoja, 11 years
32. Kresoja Marka Ljuba, age 17
33. Kresoja Stojan Marka, 36 years
34. Kresoja Marka Mica, 14 years
35. Kresoja Marka Milo, 9 years
36. Kresoja Marka Milan, 12 years
37.Kresoja Marko Milic, 13 years
38. Kresoja Nikola Milka, 38 years
39.Kresoja Marka Milutin, 5 years
40. Kresoja Marka Mira, 5 years
41.Kresoja Marka Nada, 2 years
42. Kresoja Marka Nenadka, 1 year
43. Kresoja Marka Ranka, 12 years old
44. Kresoja Marka Stanko, 3 years
45. Pekeč Ana, 58 years old
46. Pekeč Bosiljka Duro, 14 years
47. Pekeč Bosiljka Nikola, 3 years
48. Pekeč Duro Dragan, 6 years
49. Pekeč Mile Dragic, 20 years
50. Dragica Pekeč Nikola, 8 yeras
51. Dusan Pekeč Duro, 6 years
52. Pekeč Nikola Ignjatije, 1 year
53. Pekeč Jeka, 24 years
54. Laze Pekeč Mile, 16 years old
55. Laze Pekeč Milka, 13 years
56. Pekeč Stojan Milka, 44
57. Pekeč Nicholas Lazo, 18
58. Pekeč Sara, 60 years old
59. Pekeč Soka, 3 years,
61. Mrkobrad Mica, 19
62. Mrkobrad Mila, 46 years
63. Mrkobrad Nikola, 44 years old
64. Dragan Pavkovic, 4 years
65. Dragica Pavkovic, 15 years
66. Dusan Pavkovic, 4 years
67. Pavkovic Duro, 6 years
68. Petar Pavkovic, 6 years
69. Anica Vuletic, 66 years old
70. Dejanovic Milan, 2 years
71. Sara Banda, 21 year old
72. MAZINJANIN Dragica, 34 years old
73. Pekeš Djuro, 40 years old
Note: From the number of 60 to 73 are noted the massacred Serbs from the following villages: Poljane Deli, Gornja Žrvnica, Polojslog Varos, Ruševice, bears. They were captured by the Ustasha in the forest, slaughtered and dumped in a mass grave Latićkama, where still rests 73 victims of the Croatian Ustasha genocide.
On the same day ie. 3. April 1942. Ustasha shot, massacred killed with knives and spades in their houses in the same village Begovo Brdo:
1. Bastaja Bosiljka Michael, 34 years old
2.Bastaja Bosiljka Rade, 16 years old
3. Bastaja Rade Dragan, 4 years
4. Mice Bastaja Ljuba, 22 years old
5. Bastaja Rade Ljuba 2 years
6. Bastaja Cvijan Mara, 15 years
7. Bastaja Michael Rade, 64 years
8. Mihajlo Bastaja Mile, 45 years old
9. Bastaja Rade Nikola, 10 years
10. Bastaja Rade Petar, 20 years old
11. Bastaja Rade, 45 years old
12, Bastaja Ilija Rade, 39
13th Bastaja Petar Stana, 45 years old
14. Bastaja Stevan, 60
15th MAZINJANIN Mila, 44 years
16. MAZINJANIN Rade, 50 years
17. Pekeč Dragan Bogdan, 2 years
18. Pekeč Cvijan Rade, 60
19. Pekeč Milivoje Gojko, 3 years
20. Pekeč Sime Mico, 31 years old
21. Pekeč Rade Mila, 44 years
22. Pekeč Milivoj Sime, 11 years old
23. Pekeč Nikola Milka, 23 years old
24. Pekeč Vase Milka, 35 years old
25. Pekeč Nikola Mira, 9 years
26. Pekeč Rade Nikola, 42 years old
27. Pekeč Rade Nikola, at age 7
28. Pekeč Peter Rade, 41
29. Pekeč Sofrenija Rade, 50 years
30. Pekeč Sime Ranka, 17 years
31. Pekeč Nikola Sara, 40 years old
32. Pekeč Vasilja Savo, 60
33. Laze Pekeč Simo, 50 years
34. Dusan Pekeč Ana, 16 years old
35. Pekeč Rade Duro, 40 years
36. Pekeč Nikola Soka 5 years
37. Pekeč Rade Stanko, 45 years
38. Pekeč Vasilja Vaso, 52 years
39. Pekeč Janka Dragic, 38 years
40. Pekeč Nikola Branko, 4 years
41. Vukelic Miladina Danica, 13 years
42. Vukelic Radovan Dragisa, 9 years
43. Vukelic Milivoje Jeka, 20 years
44. Vukelic Milan Dragic, 50 years
45. Vukelic Janka Milka, 3 years
46. Vukelic Radovan Sara, 2 years
47. Vukelic Radovan Spasoje 10 years
48. Vukelic Rade Stoja, 5 years
We invite all those who have additional information, documents related to this crime to contact us by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: 051/333-588, +387/65/511 -130, either at the Association Jadovno 1941. King Alfonso XIII 49a, Banja Luka, Republika Srpska.