Need help identifying an Ustasha (Family member).

Discussions on all aspects of the smaller Axis nations in Europe and Asia. Hosted by G. Trifkovic.
thehotgates
Member
Posts: 2
Joined: 18 Aug 2011 18:21

Need help identifying an Ustasha (Family member).

Post by thehotgates » 18 Aug 2011 18:37

Hello, this is my first time posting here. I came to this forum in hopes of expanding my family tree. In this case, my wife's family tree. There is a missing segment of her family history during World War 2, mostly because her great grandfather was an officer in the Ustashe. I'm looking for any information at all about him, pictures, records, anything, here is what I know so far from her Uncle.

Name:
Either Ante Sabo, or Anton Sabol. Or Ante Sabol. Their family now goes by Sabo, but he believes it used to be Sabol. They MIGHT have dropped the "l" after the war to avoid association.

As quoted from my Uncle: "He was an officer of some mobile unit operating mostly around town of Brcko (now in Bosnia), but their base was in town of "Slatina" in Croatia."

Also: "he was granted a former serbian owned house into possession in village of Kozice near Slatina, maybe there is some written documentation about that. Info about him can be reached more easily since he was (as I am being told) the main ustashe figure in Slatina"

I also know that he was executed by Partisans as the war was winding down. The Partisans consisted of all females, and my Uncle's father and aunt witnessed the execution. He was a specific target.

Can anyone help here? I would truthfully, deeply appreciate it, and so would my wife and her family.

If anyone needs additional information, I can try and assist in anyway, but those are the main facts.

Larry D.
Financial supporter
Posts: 3755
Joined: 04 Aug 2004 23:03
Location: Winter Springs, FL (USA)

Re: Need help identifying Ustasha Officer. (Family member).

Post by Larry D. » 19 Aug 2011 12:55

There is only one name that's even close and it's a direct hit:

SABOL, Tomo. 1942 Ust. Poručnik (Obrana), commandant of the women’s prison at Stara Gradiška concentration camp.

The first name is different but "Ante" may have been his middle name or a nickname. However, the rest of the information you provided fits perfectly and he is the only Ustasha officer in a data base of 3,500 officers that begins with "Sabo" with one exception:

SABOLIĆ, Franjo. c. 02.42 appt deputy chief of the Zagreb – Prigorje Security Police/UNS Section I. 06.07.44 state secretary of the Interior Ministry with some authority over RAVSIGUR.

So, Tomo Sabol is probably your wife's ggf. Since he was Obrana and involved with the camps, there should be a thick dossier on him in the former Yugoslav war crimes archives. Perhaps some of the other members here can offer some suggestions on how to access the archive files that have information on him and/or the titles of books on the Stara Gradiška camp.

L.

thehotgates
Member
Posts: 2
Joined: 18 Aug 2011 18:21

Re: Need help identifying Ustasha Officer. (Family member).

Post by thehotgates » 27 Sep 2011 19:33

Larry D. Thank you so much, this has been an immense help. If anyone has any suggestions how to access any archive files, please help. Thank you.

User avatar
Dr Eisvogel
Member
Posts: 412
Joined: 24 Nov 2006 18:26
Location: Croatia

Re: Need help identifying Ustasha Officer. (Family member).

Post by Dr Eisvogel » 27 Sep 2011 22:15

thehotgates wrote:Larry D. Thank you so much, this has been an immense help. If anyone has any suggestions how to access any archive files, please help. Thank you.
You can try to contact the Croatian State Archives, they have files of the some of the NDH personnel and they also do the genealogical research.
http://www.arhiv.hr/hr/teme/fs-ovi/genealogija.htm

Best regards,
Eisvogel

Eliza
Member
Posts: 8
Joined: 20 Nov 2011 21:51

Ivica Brkljačić

Post by Eliza » 20 Nov 2011 22:06

Hello to everyone! :)

I'm looking for any available information on Ivica - one of the Jasenovac commanders (and possibly my grandmother's cousin). I've read entries about him in Tko je tko u NDH and Vladimir Dedijer's book Jasenovac i Vatikan (not sure if that's the correct title). Also, I've managed to find some info on the internet that Ivica was Pivac's subordinate in the Slana camp on the island of Pag (Tko je tko in NDH doesn't mention that). Were there any other Ustasa officers by that surname in Jasenovac? Does anyone have any photos of him? I'm grateful for any piece of information.

Thank you in advance.

P.S. Excuse my English.

User avatar
Dr Eisvogel
Member
Posts: 412
Joined: 24 Nov 2006 18:26
Location: Croatia

Re: Ivica Brkljačić

Post by Dr Eisvogel » 21 Nov 2011 09:02

Eliza wrote:Hello to everyone! :)

I'm looking for any available information on Ivica - one of the Jasenovac commanders (and possibly my grandmother's cousin). I've read entries about him in Tko je tko u NDH and Vladimir Dedijer's book Jasenovac i Vatikan (not sure if that's the correct title). Also, I've managed to find some info on the internet that Ivica was Pivac's subordinate in the Slana camp on the island of Pag (Tko je tko in NDH doesn't mention that). Were there any other Ustasa officers by that surname in Jasenovac? Does anyone have any photos of him? I'm grateful for any piece of information.

Thank you in advance.

P.S. Excuse my English.
Hi Eliza,

there might have been also one Jurica Brkljačić in Jasenovac. His rank was zastavnik.

I think that the parents of Ivica Brkljačić, whom you've mentioned, were Jerko Brkljačić and Marija Brkljačić, (née Satošek). He was born on February 24th 1917 in Brušane in Smiljan Municipality, Gospić District. He was married and had two children. I hope the data about him will be useful to check was he really related to your grandmother.

Best regards,
Eisvogel

Eliza
Member
Posts: 8
Joined: 20 Nov 2011 21:51

Re: Ivica Brkljačić

Post by Eliza » 21 Nov 2011 12:03

Hey, Dr Eisvogle! Thank you for answering. :)
Dr Eisvogel wrote:Hi Eliza,

there might have been also one Jurica Brkljačić in Jasenovac. His rank was zastavnik.
Was he also from Brušane?
Dr Eisvogel wrote:I think that the parents of Ivica Brkljačić, whom you've mentioned, were Jerko Brkljačić and Marija Brkljačić, (née Satošek). He was born on February 24th 1917 in Brušane in Smiljan Municipality, Gospić District.
Now, this is priceless! Do you by any chance know if Jerko was a teacher?
Dr Eisvogel wrote: He was married and had two children.
This comes as a surprise, because I thought he was a catholic priest (ref. Tko je tko in NDH). But, some of the Jasenovac survivors say that he in fact was a theology student, hence that's why he was reffered to as a priest.

Larry D.
Financial supporter
Posts: 3755
Joined: 04 Aug 2004 23:03
Location: Winter Springs, FL (USA)

Re: Ivica Brkljačić

Post by Larry D. » 21 Nov 2011 13:42

Eliza -

You probably already have all of this and more from the other sources, but I wanted to pass it along anyway:

BRKLJAČIĆ, Andrija. (Returnee). 29.11.41 promoted to Ust. Poručnik.
BRKLJAČIĆ, Ivica. 05.41 Ust. Satnik, with XIII Ustasha Bn. at the Slano concentration camp on Pag Island (to 09.41). 10.41 Ust. Bojnik, appt commandant of Jasenovac Camp III “Ciglana” (to 02.42). 03.42 appt commandant of Stara Gradiška concentration camp. 03.43 Ust. Bojnik, appt chief of the Intendant (supply) Branch of the Ustasha Obrana with offices probably in Zagreb.
BRKLJAČIĆ, Mile. (Returnee). 29.11.41 promoted to Ust. Zastavnik.

P.S. Never apologize for your English - it's perfect. :wink:

User avatar
Dr Eisvogel
Member
Posts: 412
Joined: 24 Nov 2006 18:26
Location: Croatia

Re: Ivica Brkljačić

Post by Dr Eisvogel » 21 Nov 2011 18:50

Eliza wrote:Hey, Dr Eisvogle! Thank you for answering. :)
Dr Eisvogel wrote:Hi Eliza,

there might have been also one Jurica Brkljačić in Jasenovac. His rank was zastavnik.
Was he also from Brušane?
I believe he was, but I can't vouch for it. You see, Jurica Brkljačić was an NCO, then promoted to zastavnik and finally fled to Lika, where he joined the križari. He was killed at the end of 1945. Look at:
Ivica Mataija: Križari na gospićkom području 1945.-1950., page 212 => http://hrcak.srce.hr/index.php?show=cla ... ezik=27518
Dr Eisvogel wrote:I think that the parents of Ivica Brkljačić, whom you've mentioned, were Jerko Brkljačić and Marija Brkljačić, (née Satošek). He was born on February 24th 1917 in Brušane in Smiljan Municipality, Gospić District.
Eliza wrote:Now, this is priceless! Do you by any chance know if Jerko was a teacher?
Sorry, I don't know. However, since he married Miss Satošek, I believe it's very probable. Why? If he was an ordinary peasant, it's hard to believe that he could marry a girl from Vrbovsko area, where Satošek surname only exists in Croatia, and bring her all the way to Brušani.
Dr Eisvogel wrote: He was married and had two children.
Eliza wrote:This comes as a surprise, because I thought he was a catholic priest (ref. Tko je tko in NDH). But, some of the Jasenovac survivors say that he in fact was a theology student, hence that's why he was reffered to as a priest.
The article says he finished theology, but it doesn't say that he was ordained for a priest. Btw, you can notice that the article has a typo. It says that he finished theology in 1914, however he wasn't born yet in 1914.

He wasn't a Catholic priest, for certain.

Btw, he lived in Ulica [Street] Pavla Štoosa 5 in Zagreb, to the east of Kvatrić square. However, I guess his 2-room apartment was confiscated after his execution.

Best regards,
Eisvogel

Eliza
Member
Posts: 8
Joined: 20 Nov 2011 21:51

Re: Ivica Brkljačić

Post by Eliza » 21 Nov 2011 21:45

Larry D. wrote: BRKLJAČIĆ, Ivica. 05.41 Ust. Satnik, with XIII Ustasha Bn. at the Slano concentration camp on Pag Island (to 09.41). 10.41 Ust. Bojnik, appt commandant of Jasenovac Camp III “Ciglana” (to 02.42). 03.42 appt commandant of Stara Gradiška concentration camp. 03.43 Ust. Bojnik, appt chief of the Intendant (supply) Branch of the Ustasha Obrana with offices probably in Zagreb.
A Jasenovac prisoner who managed to escape places Brkljačić in Jasenovac in 1945, when the demolition of the camp took place. This is from a book written by the said inmate. I'm sorry but I can't remember the name of the author or the name of the book. I found a .pdf version of it on the internet, you will understand that this research is for personal reasons only, so I didn't keep track of the references. I'll try to find it. Of course, I don't know if that information is correct or not.

Larry D. wrote:P.S. Never apologize for your English - it's perfect. :wink:
Thank you, this means a lot! :)

Eliza
Member
Posts: 8
Joined: 20 Nov 2011 21:51

Re: Ivica Brkljačić

Post by Eliza » 21 Nov 2011 22:11

Dr Eisvogel wrote:I believe he was, but I can't vouch for it. You see, Jurica Brkljačić was an NCO, then promoted to zastavnik and finally fled to Lika, where he joined the križari. He was killed at the end of 1945. Look at:
Ivica Mataija: Križari na gospićkom području 1945.-1950., page 212 => http://hrcak.srce.hr/index.php?show=cla ... ezik=27518
I don't think he is the guy I'm looking for, but Brušane is a small village, so who knows, maybe he's a relative, too. Btw., križari sounds like an interesting subject.
Dr Eisvogel wrote:Sorry, I don't know. However, since he married Miss Satošek, I believe it's very probable. Why? If he was an ordinary peasant, it's hard to believe that he could marry a girl from Vrbovsko area, where Satošek surname only exists in Croatia, and bring her all the way to Brušani.
I just spoke to my dad. He's currently in Gospić, doing a research of his own, and he said that Jerko married a woman from Zagreb. Your reasoning sounds very plausible.
Dr Eisvogel wrote:The article says he finished theology, but it doesn't say that he was ordained for a priest. Btw, you can notice that the article has a typo. It says that he finished theology in 1914, however he wasn't born yet in 1914.

He wasn't a Catholic priest, for certain.
My dad claims that Ivica's dad forced him to become a priest, what was not to his liking, so he joined the ustaše (uncomfirmed). This article (http://www.hdpz.htnet.hr/broj235/Kostrencic.htm) mentions Ivica as a student of theology, so maybe he never finished his studies.

Apparently, those two children were in fact two sons. One of them came back to Brušane and is dead (again unconfirmed).


Dr Eisvogel wrote:Btw, he lived in Ulica [Street] Pavla Štoosa 5 in Zagreb, to the east of Kvatrić square. However, I guess his 2-room apartment was confiscated after his execution.
Man, you really know you stuff! ;)

Where do you get all of this information from? I was thinking about hitting the Zagreb archive this week and try to dig out some paperwork from his hearing and the conviction. If those papers exist and if they are available to the general public.



Once again, thank you guys for your help, this is one of the few forums where they treat newcomers like this. Kudos to you!

Larry D.
Financial supporter
Posts: 3755
Joined: 04 Aug 2004 23:03
Location: Winter Springs, FL (USA)

Re: Ivica Brkljačić

Post by Larry D. » 21 Nov 2011 22:43

You're welcome, Eliza, and good luck with your research!

Larry

User avatar
Dr Eisvogel
Member
Posts: 412
Joined: 24 Nov 2006 18:26
Location: Croatia

Re: Ivica Brkljačić

Post by Dr Eisvogel » 22 Nov 2011 16:07

Eliza wrote:
Dr Eisvogel wrote:Sorry, I don't know. However, since he married Miss Satošek, I believe it's very probable. Why? If he was an ordinary peasant, it's hard to believe that he could marry a girl from Vrbovsko area, where Satošek surname only exists in Croatia, and bring her all the way to Brušani.
I just spoke to my dad. He's currently in Gospić, doing a research of his own, and he said that Jerko married a woman from Zagreb. Your reasoning sounds very plausible
O.K. If she was from Zagreb, she might also descend from Slovene immigrants to Zagreb, because beside Croats from Vrbovsko, there are also Slovenes with her surname. Btw, she already died by June 1945.
Eliza wrote:
Dr Eisvogel wrote:The article says he finished theology, but it doesn't say that he was ordained for a priest. Btw, you can notice that the article has a typo. It says that he finished theology in 1914, however he wasn't born yet in 1914.

He wasn't a Catholic priest, for certain.
My dad claims that Ivica's dad forced him to become a priest, what was not to his liking, so he joined the ustaše (uncomfirmed). This article (http://www.hdpz.htnet.hr/broj235/Kostrencic.htm) mentions Ivica as a student of theology, so maybe he never finished his studies.

Apparently, those two children were in fact two sons. One of them came back to Brušane and is dead (again unconfirmed).
It's probable that he didn't finish theology, but I don't have any verifiable data on it.
Eliza wrote:
Dr Eisvogel wrote:Btw, he lived in Ulica [Street] Pavla Štoosa 5 in Zagreb, to the east of Kvatrić square. However, I guess his 2-room apartment was confiscated after his execution.
Man, you really know you stuff! ;)

Where do you get all of this information from? I was thinking about hitting the Zagreb archive this week and try to dig out some paperwork from his hearing and the conviction. If those papers exist and if they are available to the general public.

Once again, thank you guys for your help, this is one of the few forums where they treat newcomers like this. Kudos to you!
Your idea about the archive is excellent.

Let me suggest a few steps:
1.) Find the book: Partizanska i komunistička represija i zločini u Hrvatskoj 1944.-1946., knjiga 3, Zagreb i Središnja Hrvatska, 2008. On the p. 644 you have a document important for your quest.

2.) The source of the document on the page 644 is DAZ (Državni arhiv u Zagrebu), fund 0037, GUND (Gradska uprava narodnih dobara). I believe that is fund HR-DAZG-37 currently. However, it has 6133 boxes, which is huge. So, even by reducing the search of that fund to 21. Odjel za narodnu imovinu, 1945. – 1951., it's still 733 boxes. So, to cut your search short, I'll send you the e-mail of a person who was the editor of the book, so he might explain you where did he get the document precisely.

3.) Since Ivica Brkljačić was condemned to death already on June 14th 1945 by the Military Court of the Command of City of Zagreb (Vojni sud Komande Grada Zagreba), the responsible judge being Captain Vlado Ranogajec, I expect you to find out that there is no original of the verdict. Why? Because, most of the communist victims in the first few months were summarily shot and verdicts were written only later, once the apparatus in charge of confiscation needed the proof that the people whose property was to be confiscated are dead. So, the data from the "verdict" are known from the copy dated September 1st 1945, which is in the archives left from the GUND.

4.) There is one more possibility, where the documents produced by the Yugoslav communists might have ended up. If he was interrogated by OZN-a (Odelenje za zaštitu naroda), a transcript might have ended up in the fund HR-HDA-306 in the HDA (Hrvatski državni arhiv), that is Zemaljska komisija za utvrđivanje ratnih zločina okupatora i njegovih pomagača Hrvatske, however it's huge, it has 751 boxes, but of course once you come in the archive, you'll first ask for the inventory book (inventarna knjiga).

5.) You may ask in the HDA about them doing the search through the NDH files about Ivica Brkljačić, however I think it's quite expensive and I think you must be a relative (you have to prove it to them). And I am not positive, do they have that service any more.

Here is a scientific article that mentions him on page 489 => http://hrcak.srce.hr/index.php?show=cla ... ezik=31499

Best regards and I wish you good luck with your search,
Eisvogel

Larry D.
Financial supporter
Posts: 3755
Joined: 04 Aug 2004 23:03
Location: Winter Springs, FL (USA)

Re: Ivica Brkljačić

Post by Larry D. » 22 Nov 2011 16:33

My compliments, Eisvogel. That is a very valuable aid for those researching the fate of NDH personalities who fell into the hands of Tito's "justice" system at the end of the war. But I do have one question: how reliable is the information in those files given the nature of the communist regime? Did they falsify their own records or fill them with propaganda rhetoric as the communists usually or often did? The reports of the Commission for Investigating the War Crimes of the Occupier and Their Croatian Collaborators would be particularly susceptible to creative embellishment in an attempt to make the NDH appear twice or three times as bad as the facts suggest.

User avatar
Dr Eisvogel
Member
Posts: 412
Joined: 24 Nov 2006 18:26
Location: Croatia

Re: Ivica Brkljačić

Post by Dr Eisvogel » 22 Nov 2011 19:56

Larry D. wrote:My compliments, Eisvogel. That is a very valuable aid for those researching the fate of NDH personalities who fell into the hands of Tito's "justice" system at the end of the war. But I do have one question: how reliable is the information in those files given the nature of the communist regime? Did they falsify their own records or fill them with propaganda rhetoric as the communists usually or often did? The reports of the Commission for Investigating the War Crimes of the Occupier and Their Croatian Collaborators would be particularly susceptible to creative embellishment in an attempt to make the NDH appear twice or three times as bad as the facts suggest.
Dear Mr Larry D.,

thank you very much!

My own view, formed after going through the hundreds of verdicts (and maybe even over a thousand) and studying fates of a dozen of the individual persons very closely, is that the quality level of the judiciary of DFJ=DFY (Democratic Federative Yugoslavia) and even its successors FNRJ=FPRY (Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia) and SFRJ=SFRY (Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia), especially regarding the cases such as the war crimes trials is drastically under the level expected in such a delicate cases.

Now, of course, there is a big difference between 1945 and 1985, because in 1985 one would have a defense lawyer, while in 1945, in the first months after "Liberation", not necessarily so. There are is a well known case, when there was even no trial, despite the fact that the verdict was publicized days after execution (I am referring to killings of the Dubrovnik inhabitants on the Daksa island in October 1944), but there is a number of other cases documented of writing the verdict after the execution, too.

The sad thing is, that even in the cases of the war crimes (or crimes against humanity) that happened without a doubt and were committed by the NDH authorities, the communist judiciary wasn't capable of determining the precise date of the events, let alone the real number of victims. And of course it could happen that neither the locations of the crimes, nor the names of the victims were determined, but still the formulation of the verdict would include a very big number and the death penalty would be handed over (even in 1986).

That was about the judiciary.

Regarding the Commission for Investigating the War Crimes of the Occupier and Their Collaborators, I would say that many of their materials are pure propaganda, but not necessarily everything. The fact is that the Commission did investigate some concentration camp sites (excavations of the mass graves, marking of the suspected mass graves locations etc.) and it seems that frequently these works might have been conducted professionally, however since these results didn't match up with the canonical number of 1,7 million victims of WWII, they were not publicized.
I'll just mention that central Yugoslav authorities in Belgrade organized 3 secret censuses of the victims of war and each time the results were kept secret. They only became public after the fall of communism. Also, many of the records of the interrogation of NDH personnel were made while these people didn't even have a defense attorney and under duress.

Also, it seems that the number of the victims of aerial bombardments, which were mostly conducted by the Allies, was massively underestimated, because it was politically not expedient enough to commemorate them, but some of these names appeared on the lists of the concentration camps victims.

Many times the tone of the communist sources is hysterical.
Also, for years now, there are a lot of monographs and document series published regarding either the communist apparatus, NDH apparatus, Red Cross activities in NDH etc. So, we in Croatia can get a more nuanced and more truthful picture of the events.

One other thing, which I am now forming the picture about, is the question of treating the number of victims of one of the Italian concentration camps, which is of personal interest to me. It seems that one later member of the Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts wrote an article in the beginning of 1960-ies, where he either knowingly or not, used a falsified document with which he inflated the number of victims. The fact is that he was a pre-war diplomat of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and not a historian by profession, but a lawyer. Still, he became an authority in historiography. I've seen his booklet and although he refers to the document with many details from it (name, date, three-digit number of victims without a zero at the end, apparently rather convincing), in the footnote location of the document is just the Commission for Investigating the War Crimes in Belgrade without any other detail (fund, box etc.). Generally, I was appalled by his treatment of sources, e.g. he never cited pages of the official gazettes he used, although the article was written in French, apparently for the international public. And nowadays professional Croatian historians consider that document as falsified and are not using it any more. Some amateurs still use it, since it has entered historiography so early.

Best regards,
Eisvogel

Return to “Minor Axis Nations”