Сведочења преживелих срба из усташког логора смрти – Јасеновца / Svedočenja preživelih srba iz ustaškog logora smrti – Jasenovca / Serbian survivor testimonies of the croatian concetration camp complex – Jasenovac

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Read the full testimonies here (PDF).

Mr. George Živković
Conference testimony
I can speak either language, but I am going to use English as I
can express myself better in English. And also I want to say
something to the people that are of the Croatian descent. If I say
“Croatian fascist,” if you feel that you are a Croatian fascist, then
you can feel that way. But if you feel that you do not belong to them
then don’t worry about it, for I am not talking about you. I am
talking about the Croatian fascist I lived under and what they have
done to me.
Ladies and gentlemen, my name is George Živković. I came to
the United States in 1949. I was 12 years old. I went to Womeny
(spel?), Pennsylvania. First I came to your great city of New York. I
landed in LaGuardia [airport]. There were 73 of us children to be
adopted by the American parents, and I was the only Serbian there.
As it happened, a colonel in Emboli, Italy, gave me his last name
Živković. He was Branimir Živković, Yugoslav Royal Army. Some
fascist do not like the expression Chetnicks, for to them Chetnicks is
everybody that murdered them: the fact is if Chetnicks got to them it
is because they killed their [Chetnik] families. But that is the way it
goes.
So let me go on. I got to Pennsylvania, I was accepted by my
parents. Marta and Marko Živković who lived in Pennsylvania. I
was immediately accepted not only by Marta and Marko Živković,
but I was accepted by their friends and neighbors, my parents and
their family, which was my uncle John (Jovo) Tomić and Dorothy
Tomić and their three children now Doctor Nichola Tomić, Engineer
George Tomić and Teacher Caroline Tomić. I grew up with them. I
was part of the family. I finally had a family.
When I got here over your city, when I flew over you city―you
have to understand I was only 12 years old kid―I looked down and
I said “Dear Lord, don’t ever let war come to this place.” That was
my first thought. Then we got to some school here, in New York,
somewhere. We were housed for couple of weeks. I guess they
wanted to fatten us a little bit. Then they took us to different places
40 Jasenovac Camps: First International Conference
and finally I was brought to Pittsburgh, to the old Alegeny County
airport (it was still there). My mom and dad met me there. I call
them “my mom and dad” because they were there for me…
By the way, the first thing my [new] dad Marko Živković and
my mom Marta Živković told me was: “Georgy, learn the American
language. You, learn the American history. You learn American
culture. You become American first. But do not forget―you are
Serbian.”
Also, my mother noticed… I used to run throughout whole house
at nights from nightmares―thanks to my fellow countrymen―who
call themselves “Ustashas.” By the way, Domobrani [Ustasha home
guard], to me, were not different than Ustashas. They were just
another kind. I have tell you that. I remember them well. Old bag.
You gotta understand one thing, Ladies and Gentlemen, and I
am sure you do―when people do something wrong to a child―it is
burning my soul. It is there―for ever! I used to run throghout the
whole house at nights screaming my head off. My American mother
would come to me and say: “Georgy, Georgy, you are OK, son. You
are OK. You are OK” Also my American mother and my American
father, one night, they heard me, they saw me as I layed down there
screaming and talking in Serbian―because I could not speak
English at that time. My mother and my father told me later―they
heard me say that time, in Serbian: “Nemojte mi ubiti
majku―molim vas!” (“Do not kill my mother―please!”). [The
survivor stops for a moment.]
Well, I was not always George Živković. My misery started in
place called Kostajnica, on the Eastern side of the River Una. It sits
right there. It is predominantly Croatian populated. My mother
worked there, for people in Kostajnica. She was worked there… as a
house servant―for guy named Pavelić. [The survivor stresses the
name as it was also the last name of the Ustasha fuehrer]. Pajo
Pavelić. Znaš ga, iz Zagreba. (You know him, from Zagreb.―trans.)
Anyway, I found that all my miseries started to blank out. In
1961 I started to dig. I talked to people. I asked everybody: “Hey,
can you find out something.” And nothing happened. Finally, in
1972, I met that gentlemen through my cousin Caroline. He went to
Yugoslavia. He came back with all the information I needed. The
only thing I remembered―my natural mother thought me―and that
was: Janja Janus―that was her name. She was known as
Eva―Evica from Kostajnica. Glina kotar (county―trans.)… Selo
(village―trans.) Brubanj.
When I got the facts from this gentleman and [the facts] about
my family―27 years later… ‘Cause I knew nothing, OK? I knew
nothing. I knew only I was Đorđe, Đuro Janus… And I finally found
that―during the war―I was maskerading as Croatian. I got away.
That is why I am still here. After the war―when I got to the
Serbs―”Janus” did not sound to me as a Serbian name. So, I did not
tell them what my name was… So, I told my mother and my father
and mother, Marko and Marta Živković, until I was 28 years old,
and when my first son was Christened…
But anyway, it all started back in 1941 when they bombed
Belgrade. I remember the first thing―my mother showed me Nazis.
My mother showed me a picture of a young couple. She was crying
and she told me in Serbian―”They killed my sister.” [The survivor
stops.] Aparently my aunt. And her family. When Nazi bombed
Belgrade.
Then I first heard the term “koljači”―which I do not know how
you express that term in English―I don’t know―massackres?
People who cut people’s throats? Yeah, butchers. They came into
Kostajnica, from Muslim side, from Bosanska Kostajnica, over there
and started killing the Serbs. And naturaly, in no time at all, my
friends and neighbors, my fellow countrymen, started turning their
backs on me. For some of them could I understand why. I could
understand because under the Croatian law of that time if a Croatian
family was to hide me―a five year old Serbian boy―they would
kill the whole family and me. That was the law of Ante Pavelić
[WWII Ustasha leader]. That’s the law, I think, of Tuđman too. [At
the time of this conference, Franjo Tuđman was then current Croat
President].
[Applause]
You know―if you come with the idea, again, that you can not
hold any government job [in today’s Croatia] if you were not―for
four generations(!) of pure Croat blood… It reminds me of my past
and I do not like it.
Anyway, one night, as my mother worked for this man,
dobrovoljac, a volunteer from America [who came to fight for
Yugoslavia in the First World War]. She was taking care of him. He
was an older man. She was talking care of his house. She had a cow.
42 Jasenovac Camps: First International Conference
We lived in a small place―about a size of two car garage. We were
dirt poor. We had nothing. We were dirt poor.
At night. Ustashas came at night took him away. My mother
heard the commotion. She woke me up… She said “Đuro, come on.”
She took me out to a small vinijak (a wineyard―trans.) behind the
house. She told me to lay down, on my belly, in the rows between
the wines. So I did and she stayed with me for a while. At dawn she
decided to go to the house to get us something to eat. She told me:
“Don’t move. Don’t answer anybody. Don’t say nothing. If anybody
calls you don’t answer. Just lay there.” So I did.
Can you immagine? At night―and I knew because my mother
told me: “If they catch you they will kill you.” And I did not want to
die. I did not want to die. I was five years old. I did not want to die. I
was not ready for it.
Here I am laying down on the ground, between the rows, waiting
for my mother to come back… And they called me: “Đuro, Đuka
dođi vamo―come here We are looking for you.” And I was
worrying about my little heart pounding. I am holding my breath
because I was afraid they might hear me. And I knew what gonna
happen.
So that time, that went over finally and they started putting a
word out that all the Serbs that went hiding―they can come out.
They want to do nothing to them. They want to make them a part of
the Croatian state… And those who want to convert… This is hard
for me to come to grips. And I finally came to it. My mother had a
decision to make. Either to become a Roman Catholic or get us both
killed. So we were converted. And people here, logoraši (camp
inmates―trans.) know of, or heard about Croatian priest in
Kostajnica, Magarac [actually Franciscan Vlado Margetić]. He
converted us. And, as matter of fact there is a picture―Pete
[Makara] has it―there is my mother on his computer.
I wanted to tell you. I wanted to show you the book… of when
Magarac converted us. But in meantime my mother got a word that
my granfather was burned alive. The Janus last name did not help
him at all―because, apparently he did not want to tell them, he did
not want to deny that he was a Serb…
She got the word and she was sitting there crying… and I was too
young to understand, to get the grasp. Now, after years of research I
can put it all together. She told me that my grandfather was dead. I
found out 47 years later that Ustashas burned him alive. Why? I
don’t know, but what it is―I found out from a Chetnik from Brubanj
that my grandfather owned a house, on a top of a hill, in
Yugoslavia―built of a white marble. [The survivor explains, in so
many words that his grandfather was quite rich.] … But my mother,
age 12 and my uncle age 14 had to go to other houses to be sluga
[servants―trans.]
So, for a while we went to a [Catholic] church. They put us on
the left side. The right side was reserved for the Ustashas.
Monday through Friday they were killing the Serbs―men,
women and children―in Kostajnica. I can point to you places, right
now, in Kostajnica where they buried people. You talk about
desecration! I was there in 1972. Trying to find my mothers
grave―because I wanted to put a marker. Guess what? The
cemetery, used to be Serbian cemetery, went from 100% to about
10%. Croatians built their houses―in Serbian cemetery, in
Kostajnica. OK? My mother is laying under somebody’s house or
somebody’s yard. That is a fact!
So, after my mother got the news about my grandfather, her
father, she did not want to go to the [Catholic] church any more. She
tought: So, what’s the use? What’s the difference? Her friends told
her: “Janja, you have to go to the church.”…
One day I was playing outside in a yard, alone. No-one was
there. Everyone just dissapeared. Like everyone knew what was
going on―for some reason. I knew where my mother was at. She
was working in the field with some women… And all out of a
sudden, this one, I guess our next door neighbor because my mother
knew him, in Ustasha uniform, came to me with rifle on his sholder,
like that, and asked me: “Đuro, gde ti je majka?” (Đuro, where is
your mother?)
I said, “In the field.”
“Show me.”
So I run ahead of him. There were seven, eight, women in the
field, working. I yelled at my mother: “There is an Ustasha behind
me!” When the women heard the key word―Ustasha―they bolted.
They took off. They yelled at my mother: “Come on, come on,
Janja―let’s get out of here!” My mother said: “No, I can not leave
my son. I cannot. I will not leave my son!” So he [Ustasha] finally
caught up with us. He took us back. I guess because my mother
44 Jasenovac Camps: First International Conference
knew him, he let us pack a little bag with some ham.
I don’t know how I got to Jasenovac. I know when I got to
Jasenovac, they put us at some place with some wall.
Note: We will stop here, as Mr. Živkovic’s statement regarding his
time in Jasenovac was repeated in more detail in his interview.
Post-conference interview with Mr. George Živković (at shore)
by Nadja Tesić
Ms. Nadja Tesich: You spoke yesterday that you spent part of
your childhood in a Concentration Camp Jasenovac.
Mr. George Živkovic: I said―. Yes.
Ms. Tesich: How much did you spend in the Concentration
Camp of Jasenovac? How old were you when entered that?
Mr. Živković: I was five years old.
Ms. Tesich: Five years old and how old were you when you left
the Camp?
Mr. Živković: Jasenovac?
Ms. Tesich: Hm.
Mr. Živković: I was only about two to three months there.
Ms. Tesich: Okay. To establish once again, your name is?
Mr. Živković: My name is George Živković. In time of
Jasenovac my name was Đorđe [Serbian for George], Đuro Janus.
Ms. Tesich: Okay. Which was the one of your real family?
Mr. Živković: It was the name of my real mother. My father’s
name was Jovan Čizmić.
Ms. Tesich: Okay. Now, what I am really interested and this is
very painful, I am aware of that, are there any images that to this day
you associated Jasenovac. If you would, think of one or two images.
Mr. Živković: Yes. One particular image was one of the first
ones I arrived. When we came in, the previous group was empted
already. It was empty. All brick yard and there was wall
approximately five to six feet tall, to eight feet, I can’t judge it. And
one of the particular images that sets in my mind is that woman and
her daughter. She was approximately twelve to fourteen years old.
They came in later. They was right in front of my mother and me.
The woman asked my mother if she could help her put up, leg up,
her daughter to the wall because her husband and her son were here
and her little girl wanted to wave at her brother. My mother obliged
that and the two of them pushed and gave the girl leg up. She looked
over the wall, she waved to her brother and then she said to her
mother in Serbian: “I see them, mom, I see them, mom. And they
wave back to me, oh mom. They are beating him now. They are
killing him.” She just went shocked. She just start screaming. And
so, they lowered her and there was, I don’t know how big maybe the
wall. Ten to fifteen minutes, twenty minutes, the Ustashas came in
and they took away the girl and mother. I didn’t see personally, for
example, as they was walking to this particular, they held us in front
a, there was a well and on the right there were toilets and the shed.
We was on the left side, right next to the well. We lived out in a
nature, under the skies, you know, no food, no blankets, no nothing,
no kind of comfort and when they took the girl and the mother they
announced us that we were not allowed to talk across the wall, not
allowed to wave to anybody and that we will be strongly punished.
Strictly, very punished. So it was, I guess, a couple of days later this
thing go around the Camp, everybody was like sardines all packed
in and so new lady came in and my mother was talking with her and
I asked my mother for some water and my mother said: “No Georgy,
we don’t have, I don’t have any more water”, and I said: “But mom,
the well”, and she said: “No, you can’t have the water”, and they
started talking about it and I heard them saying, my mother, that
lady and my mother said: “They threw the girl in it after they
tortured her”.
Ms. Tesich: Is there one sound you associate with Jasenovac.
Sound?
Mr. Živković: It was hardly any sound, you know, at least I did
not hear. In Nineteen Forty or maybe Forty One I was, I almost died
of fewer. And when I went back to Yugoslavia to see the parts of my
family and the way I did it, the only way that I knew was my
mother’s first name, maiden name, her nick-name and her last
maiden name. She taught me this other things, but I would not
comply, I could not remember all that she taught me. Jana―Janus
she was known as Evica―Eva. She was from Glina, Kotor, a county
of Glina, post office Glasnić, selo, village Brubanj.
Ms. Tesich: Is there anything about Jasenovac that you as a
grown man still dream about or have nightmares about?
46 Jasenovac Camps: First International Conference
Mr. Živković: As a grown man I stopped having nightmares. I
thank my new parents Marko and Marta Živković and my mother’s
family, I called them my mother and my father―Jovo Tomić and
his wife Doty Tomić and their children Nicolas, George and
Caroline. They sort of, brought me in and listened to me and talked
to me and my parents, my new parents because when I first came to
the United States I would scream my head off and ran through the
house and my mother, my new mother, would grab me and she said:
“Georgy, Georgy, you are okay. You are okay.” And so, gradually
my parents, after my mother took me to the family doctor and the
doctor told: “Mrs. Živković, the boy went through trauma and he is
going to be O.K. and grow out of it”. So she kept working on me,
and my father, like, for example, and they would say do I like so and
so, and I said: “Yeah, I think they are nice people”. “You see
Georgy, they are Croatians, so and all Croatians are not the same”.
Or, these are Germans and whatever. All that people I remember
they were killing Serbs, they were for me, to me, as the little boy
they… So they did marvelous job on me, until Nineteen Eighty Nine
all that came back. In Nineteen Sixty One I decided to find my
family, my natural mother’s family but the irony of it is that in one
time I was in station place called Ilicy. My aunt was in Spainke
which was only eighty miles away and I couldn’t find it.
Ms. Tesich: And what happened in Nineteen Eighty Nine?
Mr. Živković: It was in Nineteen Sixty One.
Ms. Tesich: Sixty One? That is when you started searching?
Mr. Živković: Yes, that is when I started searching. In Nineteen
Seventy Two my cousin Caroline, her family, her mother’s side, she
was Bobić, she went to Krajina to visit her mother’s family. She was
going all around and her cousin Radenko Bobić took her all around
with his car and she being nicely hidey and she told him: “I have a
cousin who is in American army and is stationed in Frankfurt”. So
he said: “I am not far from Frankfurt”. So, she gave him my address
and one day he showed up in my house and my wife told him I was
in the hospital because I had burns on my leg from leaking of a
heating pad, chemical burn. And so, I was laying there in a military
hospital and my wife sent him to the hospital in Frankfurt and I
heard three people speaking Serbian and one said: “Well, I don’t see
Živković here”, and I said: “I am in here”, and so from that moment
on we, kind of, made friendship and one day I was still about how I
Survivor Testimonies 47
tried to find my family and everything else and he said: “George, I
am interested”, and he went there and came back about three weeks
later and laid papers on my desk, on my table, and said: “George,
here is your information”, because some of the stuff I told him there
was people in Yugoslavia who knew that was me, I don’t know how
I remember but I was two to three years old when I was in my aunt
house, and I told him when he sees my cousins to tell them that and
they said: “Yes he was in our house” because they had a little
brother and I guess he died and my mother gave me to them. That’s
how I found.
Ms. Tesich: Do you think you would have been different person
without Jasenovac?
Mr. Živković: Yes, I would have.
Ms. Tesich: What do you think?
Mr. Živković: Yes I think I would be very different person.
Ms. Tesich: How?
Mr. Živković: In a way Jasenovac did me harm because that stole
my childhood away from me and the Ustashas. But in a way they
also made me strong and if I didn’t know, which I didn’t, about
Croats and Serbs, I didn’t know of any of that, I didn’t know about
religion, I didn’t know none of that. I knew from the time I was a
little boy that Ustashas will kill me because I was Serbian if they
caught me and that I have to watch out what I said around Croatian
people.
Nadja Tesich: O.K. Now, you mentioned you would have been
different. How? What do you remember.
George Živković: Before Jasenovac I just remember this little
house that I was in. I used to call it Vrpolje but it is called Vripolje,
no, I called it Vripolje and it is Vrpolje in Slavonia, when I was little
boy. That’s another way they knew who I was and with my mother,
what I remember most, even that we were dirt poor, she used to take
me in Kostajnica and there on the bridge there was a setup like a
little boxes. She would buy me either cheese, sir, cottage cheese, it
comes on a cabbage leaf and also she would buy me a little bit of
raisins and she gave me a lot of love but just she had to work very
hard in order to keep us alive.
Ms. Tesich: What did she look like?
Mr. Živković: To me she looked like a very beautiful woman.
My mother, that guy Petar Makara, he has on his computer, he has
48 Jasenovac Camps: First International Conference
picture of my mother. My mother to me looked very beautiful, she
was taller than I was, naturally, I was small. Before Jasenovac if she
disciplined me she disciplined me, you know, either with switch
sometime depending of what I did. After Jasenovac, my mother
would never hit me, never did anything. She would say in Serbian:
“Bog ga je kaznio, ja necu vise”. (“God made him suffer. I will
not.”―transl.) I will never punish him, anymore. She didn’t.
Man’s voice: Where is your mother’s grave now?
Mr. Živković: My mother’s grave is―. I buried her in
Kostajnica, in Serbian cemetery St. Nicolas. And the funny part of it
is that my mother knew that she was going to be killed. The reason
that I know now as a grown man, because that she one day, she told
me: Đorđe, if something happens to me the documents are in opstina
(commune―transl.) Kostajnica and if I, if something happens to me,
if one day the Croats will come to you and ask to burry me in their
cemetery you are not allowed to do that. I want to be buried in
Serbian cemetery. That’s what for Serbs is “So, help me God”. You
know, now that I am a man, I understand, and now as a married
man, I am married to a German, my wife is a wonderful person, she,
before I got married I told her my children are going to be christened
in Orthodox Church in honor to my natural mother and naturally to
my new mother.
Man’s voice: Where is her grave now?
Mr. Živković: Her grave is in Kostajnica in cemetery St. Nicolas,
Sveti Nikola, and I went there in 1972 to look for cemetery. My wish
was to put a marker for her one day. I always said it from time I was
a little boy, from time I remember, from time I got to States, I went
from hell to heaven, so as far as I was concerned. And I went back
to cemetery and I looked for my mother’s grave. It was one tenth of
what I remembered was one. There was houses. Croatian built
houses in our cemetery. I didn’t know if they dug her up or if she
was in somebody’s house or in somebody’s yard and I told them and
they said no, it was always like that. It was not! It was one tenth of
its original size. I went to maticar (registrar―transl.). I don’t know
what they call in English.
Ms. Tesich: Mayor’s Office.
Mr. Živković: I went to Mayor’s Office and I took out, I gave
him my ID card and put it on the table and told him I am Đorđe
Živković. Previously I was known as Đorđe, Đuro Janus and the
Survivor Testimonies 49
guy, if he, the maticar (registrar―transl.), the way he said that, if he
would have been here or in Germany I would have brought him
across ….?… , I swear to God. He said yes, I knew your mother. I
just put my hands in my pocket, I just pushed it down as I could
because for me it was very emotional, just the way he said it. And
then he changed his tune, he started being nice to me and said I
don’t know about it but you can go to Zagreb and ask the people she
worked for, and I guess one of the clerks he got to him, apparently
he saw the look on my face, so dark, I understand I become very
dark when a dark celo (forehead―transl.) comes across my face
when some people really get to me. This girl came to me, I went to
the Bank to change some money, someone was running after me and
the clerk said: “Mr. Živković, speaking Serbian, your mother was
honest hard working woman. You too were dirt poor”, which I
already knew all that but it felt good because this man cared to
explain to me and to, kind of, smooth over what the other guy did
not mind.
Ms. Tesich: Well, it sounds like you had the mother who loved
very much.
Mr. Živković: Yes, I did. I did. And I went to Zagreb from there,
that’s what he told me, he gave me address of the people my mother
used to work for, and when I went there this guy’s name was Pajo
Pavelić. He told me “I am Pajo Pavelić, when I walked in, “Whom
do I have honor to talk with?” and I said: “You have honor to talk to
Đorđe Živković, former Janus”, and he said: “Đuka”. He looked at
me closer and he said: “Yes, you look like your mother. You have
some likeness to your mother”. So we went upstairs, him and his
sister and he started talking and his sister said to me, and he gave me
all kind of information that my family would not give me. You
know, for example, his uncle was my God-father in crkva Svetog
Peobrazenja u Zagrebu, pravoslavna crkva (the church of St.
Transfiguration in Zagreb, orthodox church―transl.). I can’t
translate that one. But it is a church in Zagreb, Serbian church. And
he has also a document which I have right now which is in my
attaché case, which is knjiga rodjenika (registrar of births―transl.),
he took [inaudible] and put my name and date I was born and which
I never knew, because when I met up with Chetniks in Nineteen
Forty Six they, kind of, looked at me and said: “What’s your last
name,” and I would not tell them Janus because to me it didn’t
50 Jasenovac Camps: First International Conference
sound Serbian. So I was in [inaudible] and in [inaudible] again. I
thought, well there is guy, this big guy with sajkaca (Serbian
traditional cap―transl.) on and this big kokarda (cockade, Royal
Yugoslav Army symbol―transl.) on his head and he said: “Boy
what’s your name”. “Sir, I don’t know”. And he said: “How would
you like that to be Živković.” I said: “Yes, I would.” He was a cap
commander of cap Ebolly. He was the Royal Yugoslav Army.
Ms. Tesich: So you became Živković because of him?
Mr. Živković: Yes.
Ms. Tesich: This is what you told the other day in the
conference.
Mr. Živković: Yes. So he took me in. And I stayed Živković
because I was adopted. Then the Chetniks put my name in Srbobran
for adoption. My [new] father read that name and he had the son
whose name was George Živković, identical like mine. So he talked
to my mom and they decided they was going to adopt me. An
normal waiting time at that time was five years to get to the States. I
guess my dad knew some people because I was there only six
months later. I came to New York. I went to Pittsburgh and I think
you got it already on tape
Ms. Tesich: But there is one thing I do not understand. When
you were adopted, your mother was alive, or not?
Mr. Živković: No, no. My mother was killed by Ustashas, I told
you that.
Ms. Tesich: It’s okay.
Mr. Živković: I was about six years old.
Ms. Tesich: It’s okay.
Mr. Živković: Let me explain to you.
Ms. Tesich: No. It’s O.K. It comes from the other one. I just
want to clarify. She died actually?
Mr. Živković: She was killed.
Ms. Tesich: She was killed. And when you were in the Camp or
afterwards?
Mr. Živković: We was sent to Germany on forced labor. We was
somewhere about one night train ride away from Leipzig. I
remember that name, it was burning my mind. And we was there I
don’t know for how long. Maybe six months, eight months, a year.
And no Germans was atrocious with us and then Nedić [leader of
the Serb quisling government under German Nazi occuopied
Survivor Testimonies 51
Serbia], he had some kind of a document signed with Germans there
to allow any Serb who did not want to stay there to come back to
Yugoslavia or I don’t know how my mother signed to go back to a
hornets’ nest. So when we came there, when we came back my
mother knew this woman outside Kostajnica, Serbian woman, friend
of hers. She put me with her, I don’t know why. She put me with
that woman and I don’t know, couple of months later, one day two
little boys of where my mother an I stayed, came up to me and just
said: “Your mother is dead”. And so, when I got there my mother
was dressed. The women, the Serbian women already dressed her
and laid her out on the table. I had to go around and beg candles
from Croatians for their Easter or Christmas candles because I did
not have any. But any way … it was a kind of … I was kind of
shocked. It did not hit me until after we buried her. And two weeks
later, at first, the woman said: “You can stay with us, you can stay
with us”. And one day she said: “I can not feed you. I have two of
my own. You have to go. Go to that house, your mother used to
work for that people. They are friends of yours, you mother’s”, and
you know, six years old, so I went there. The guy had one cow so I
was supposed to take care of that cow, but six years old and I said I
can’t do that. And I stayed there for about a couple of weeks, few
weeks, and he pointed out to a house, another Croatian house,
except that this woman was married to Dr. Tadić. He was one of the
doctors that got away from the Ustashas. She was Croatian and he
was Serbian. And when they came for him he got away from them
and she took me in, because she and my mother were old friends.
They was more classy and more money, you know. She took me in
with her little boy, she had little boy, and when we were in I heard
her mother, her mother said in Serbian, in Serbo-Croatian: “Baci to
srpsko govno napolje”. Throw that Serbian shit outside. And she
was saying: “Mom do you want to throw your grand-son out too. He
is half Serbian”. So, I don’t know what happened but one day the
grand-mother came to me and said: “I have to get you out of here.
My daughter is dead. She died of tifus (typhoid―transl.)”. But I
don’t believe so because two days before that I was running around
Kostajnica. There was a woman hanging from the tree with a bunch
of stuff written on Serbo-Croatian. I couldn’t read at that time and I
thought it was familiar, but then again I was not sure. I think it was..
I think that they hung her.

Read the full testimonies here.