THE JASENOVAC CONCENTRATION CAMP
The Jasenovac concentration camp, which was located in Croatia during World War II, was responsible for an estimated 600,000 deaths from 1941-1945. Most of those killed were native Serbs. According to sources, Vjekoslav Luburić, commandant of the Jasenovac camp, proudly stated at a banquet in 1942, "We have slaughtered here at Jasenovac more people than the Ottoman Empire was able to do during its occupation of Europe." Especially disturbing to me was information I found regarding a law student named Petar Brzica, who was a guard as the Jasenovac camp. According to sources, the guards had a competition on August 29, 1942, to see who could murder the largest number of Serbs. Petar Brzica murdered 1,360 prisoners with a customized knife called a srbosjek ("Serb-cutter"). After this, he was declared "King of the Cutthroats" by the other guards and was rewarded with a gold watch, a silver tea service, a roasted suckling pig, and wine. After World War II, Petar Brzica immigrated to the U.S., and authorities were never able to locate him despite the fact that his name was one of 59 on a list of Nazis living in the U.S. given to INS in the 1970s. Information about the Jasenovac camp may be found here and here. What limited information about Petar Brzica exists may be found here.