Glina massacres

Glina massacres
Men, women and children gathered in a church
A photograph from the files of Zagreb police chief Božidar Cerovski showing Serbs from Glina gathered in a Serbian Orthodox church prior to the second Glina massacre, 30 July 1941.[1]
A map of the Independent State of Croatia showing the location of Glina
LocationGlina, Banija, Independent State of Croatia
Coordinates45°20′22″N 16°05′29″E / 45°20′22″N 16°05′29″E / 45.33944; 16.09139
DateMay–August 1941
Attack type
Mass killing
MotiveAnti-Serbian Orthodoxy, anti-Serbian sentiment, Greater Croatia, anti-Yugoslavism, Catholic fanaticism, Croatisation

The Glina massacres were killings of Serb peasants in the town of Glina in the Independent State of Croatia (NDH) that occurred between May and August 1941, during World War II. The first wave of massacres in the town began on 11 or 12 May 1941, when a band of Ustaše led by Mirko Puk murdered a group of Serb men and boys in a Serbian Orthodox church before setting it on fire. The following day, approximately 100 Serb males were murdered by the Ustaše in the nearby village of Prekopi. Estimates of the overall number of Serbs killed from 11–13 May range from 260 to 417. Further killings in Glina occurred between 30 July and 3 August of that same year, when 700–2,000 Serbs were massacred by a group of Ustaše led by Vjekoslav Luburić. Ljubo Jednak, the only survivor of these killings, went on to testify at the trials of the several prominent figures in the NDH after the war. Puk was captured by British forces in 1945 while attempting to flee to Austria and was extradited to Yugoslavia the following year, where he committed suicide. Luburić escaped Yugoslavia after the war and moved to Francoist Spain, where he was killed by a person generally assumed to be an agent of the Yugoslav State Security Service.

An estimated 2,000–2,400 people were killed in the Glina massacres. In 1969, a monument was erected and a memorial museum was built to commemorate the victims of the killings. Following the independence of Croatia from Yugoslavia, the monument was removed by Croatian authorities in the town. After the Croatian War of Independence, the local authorities failed to restore it and dismantled it instead. The memorial museum was converted into a generic cultural institution, to the dismay of the local Serbian population.


On 6 April 1941, Axis forces invaded Yugoslavia. Poorly equipped and poorly trained, the Royal Yugoslav Army was quickly defeated.[2] The country was then dismembered and the extreme Croat nationalist and fascist Ante Pavelić, who had been in exile in Benito Mussolini's Italy, was appointed Poglavnik (leader) of an Ustaše-led Croatian state – the Independent State of Croatia (often called the NDH, from the Croatian: Nezavisna Država Hrvatska). The NDH combined almost all of modern-day Croatia, all of modern-day Bosnia and Herzegovina and parts of modern-day Serbia into an "Italian-German quasi-protectorate".[3][4] NDH authorities, led by the Ustaše militia,[5] subsequently implemented genocidal policies against the Serb, Jewish and Romani population living within the borders of the new state.[6] Ethnic Serbs were persecuted the most because Pavelić and the Ustaše considered them "potential turncoats" in what they wanted to be an ethnically pure state composed solely of Croats.[7] Racist and antisemitic laws were passed,[8] and ethnic Serbs, representing about thirty percent of the NDH's population of 6.3 million,[9] became targets of large-scale massacres perpetrated by the Ustaše. By the middle of 1941, these killings reached degrees of brutality that shocked even some Germans.[10][11] The Cyrillic script was subsequently banned by Croatian authorities, Orthodox Christian church schools were closed, and Serbs were ordered to wear identifying armbands. Mile Budak, the Croatian Minister of Education, is reported to have said that one-third of Serbs in the NDH were to be killed, one-third were to be expelled, and one-third were to be converted to Roman Catholicism.[12] The Ustaše then established numerous concentration camps where thousands of Serbs were mistreated, starved, and murdered.[13]

Glina is a small market town[14] in the Banovina[15] region of Croatia located about 55 kilometers (34 miles) south of Zagreb.[16] In 1931, the town itself had a population of 2,315 people[14] and was inhabited mostly by Serbs, Croats, and Jews.[17] Shortly after the Ustaše took power, the Croatian Minister of Justice, Mirko Puk, established a base in the town.[18]

Other Languages
русский: Резня в Глине
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Pokolj u glinskoj crkvi
Türkçe: Glina katliamı