Historical Background

After the German invasion of Yugoslavia in April 1941, the country was divided between Germany and its allies. The regions of Croatia and of Bosnia and Herzegovina were united into a puppet state – the so-called Independent State of Croatia – that was ruled by the fascist Ustaša movement. The Ustaša immediately embarked on a campaign "to purge Croatia of foreign elements" and instituted a reign of terror systematically killing Serbs, Jews, and Roma (Gypsies). The concentration of Jews in camps began in June 1941. The roundup of the Jews of Sarajevo started in August 1941 and continued until the beginning of 1942. The men were sent to Jasenovac – only few returned alive – and the women and children were sent to two camps, Lobograd, from where they were sent in August 1942 to Auschwitz, and to Djakovo where many died of epidemics or were sent on to other camps. 12,000 of Bosnia’s 14,000 Jews of before the war perished.