Island of Jakljan: Mass grave with the bodies of 102 POW's killed without trial by Tito's partisans
Friday, 22nd February 2013 12:16
Dubrovnik's island of Jakljan, the only uninhabited island of the Elaphites, probably hides the remains of 102 captured members of the defeated armies from the WWII, who were killed without trial at the end of May of 1945 by the Partisans
Available data suggest that in this grave the remains of most of these POW's who surrendered to the Partisans in Istria and near Trieste. They were transported by ship all the way to South Adriatic, and they were killed on the bank of the sea and buried in the cave, that is the pit made by excavating sand by the local population just 10 meters away from the execution site, reports Slobodna Dalmacija newspaper.
It is presumed that the mass grave hides the bodies of all the victims, except two who during the executions attempted to save their lives by running into the interior of the island.
The surviving witnesses Kuzma Stjepović (88) i Zvonimir Koporčić (85) told that the POW's were buried on the spot where they were killed, and they have very precisely shown the location of the unmarked grave to the members of the Dubrovnik society "Croatian Homeguardsman".
The corpses are buried with the land cover of just half a meter and it is surprising that the grave hasn't been discovered by accident in the period before the Homeland War, when the buildings on the island were used by a children's ferial home from Belgrade.
- Witness Stjepović has emigrated to Italy in 1947, and from there to Canada. He retold the statment of Luka Ivanković, inhabitant of near-by island of Šipan that on Jakljan "until 1951 the killlings of undesirable Croats were conducted by UDB-a (State Security Directorate) whose member he was, but got disappointed in Communism". It is known that it wasn't allowed to freely visit Jakljan until 1970-ies, when in 1974 the building and the bungalows for the children's ferial home were built. During the building of foundations for one object, the workers found the bone remains and three human skulls and though it was planned, they didn't finish the northern bungalow - says president of the "Croatian Homeguardsmen" Society Željko Kulišić who tried for years to shed light on this shameful episode from the post-war time in these areas.
According to the research of the president of the Dubrovnik branch of the Political Prisoners' Society Augustin Franić the killed are captured German sailors and airmen, Croatian sailors and soldiers from Konavle area who were captured after 8th of May 1945 in Istria and the vicinity of Trieste.
They were killed using the method from near-by Daksa island: bullet in the back of the head, which is witnessed by the shot wounds in the skulls and part of them had their hands tied, which is witnessed by the wire found in the cave on Jakljan - adds Kulišić.
Jakljan was visited on Friday by Predrag Matić, Minister of the Veterans' Affairs with his staff.
Original article: http://www.hrsvijet.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=26332:otok-jakljan-pronaena-masovna-grobnica-sa-tijelima-102-zarobljenika-koje-su-titovi-partizani-likvidirali-bez-suenja&catid=28:povijesni-identitet&Itemid=112
Location of the island of Jakljan:
Pictures of the mass grave with skeletons being exhumated (graphic!):
1.) Since Trieste garrison surrendered to the Yugoslav Army on May 1st 1945 and the article mentions the sailors taken prisoner after May 8th 1945 in Istria, could they be from the German garrison of Pula, which was defending Muzil peninsula until 8th/9th of May?
2.) What unit of the Croatian soldiers recruited in Konavle managed to get to Istria and Trieste by May of 1945?