List of mass executions and massacres in Yugoslavia during World War II
The following is a list of massacres and mass executions that occurred in Yugoslavia during World War II. Areas once part of Yugoslavia that are now parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Macedonia, and Montenegro; see the lists of massacres in those countries for more details.
The majority of massacres were committed by Yugoslav factions during the civil war, while a number were committed by invading Axis forces.
After the invasion of Yugoslavia, puppet-state Independent State of Croatia (NDH) was created by Axis powers in the areas of most of modern-day Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Ustaše sought to create an ethnically clean state through eradicating Serbs, Jews and Romani through genocidal policies. The Ustaše believed that the creation of an ethnically pure Greater Croatian state was to ensure the safety of the Croats from the Serbs. According to data calculated by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, during the creation of the state the population of Serbs was approximately 1,925,000. The Ustaše's largest genocidal massacres were carried out in Bosanska Krajina and in places in Croatia where Serbs constituted a large proportion of the population including Banija, Kordun, Lika, and northern Dalmatia. Between 300,000–340,000 Serbs were killed in massacres and in concentration camps like Jasenovac and Jadovno. Some 100,000 died at Jasenovac alone. The resistance movements grew rapidly in response to this oppression and the first to emerge was the royalist Chetnik guerilla movement, consisting of Serbian freedom-fighters loyal to the vision of Yugoslavia as a 'greater Serbia'.
Chetnik massacres of the Bosniak population took place in eastern Bosnia which, according to Hoare, had been "relatively untouched" by the Ustaše until the spring of 1942. Historian Dr Marko Attila Hoare posits that the latter-referenced massacres were not acts of revenge, but "an expression of the genocidal policy and ideology of the Chetnik movement." Bosnian historian Enver Redžić has a different opinion and shows that eastern Bosnia wasn't in relative peace at all during the period 1941-1942. He points out that in the summer of 1941, killings of Serbs have already started and acquired broader proportions in eastern Bosnia and that anti-Serb propaganda by Ustaše, by that time, had success among local Muslim and Croats. Massacres of Croatian populations mainly took place in Croatian territories. According to historians Jan Kaplan and Krystyna Nosarzewska, the Chetniks wanted to forge an ethnically-pure Greater Serbia in order to ensure the survival of Serbs in Axis/Ustaše-controlled areas by violently "cleansing" these areas of Croats and Muslims. Similarly, the Ustaše believed that the creation of an ethnically pure Greater Croatian state was to ensure the safety of the Croats from the Serbs.
Yugoslav Partisans committed various massacres, notably as part of the so-called "leftist errors". At the end of the war, the Partisans "purged" in Serbia (1944–45), and massacred thousands in the Bleiburg repatriations and Foibe massacres at the end and immediate aftermath of the war.
Axis occupying forcesEdit
German, Italian and Hungarian occupying forces engaged in atrocities against the Yugoslavian population, in the form of reprisals and mass-killings of civilians and hostages in retaliation for Yugoslav Partisans attacks and resistance. Infamous examples include the Kragujevac massacre, committed by German forces, as did the Albanian Waffen-SS units, which murdered more than 400 Orthodox Christian civilians at Andrijevica, the Novi Sad raid, committed by Hungarian forces and crimes committed by Italian forces, such as in Podhum and Testa.
|Slavonska Požega executions||19–23 April 1941||Slavonska Požega||38||Ustaše||executions of Serbs by Ustaše.|
|Kamen executions||1941-1945||Kamen castle, Begunje na Gorenjskem||1,282||German forces||Mass-executions of Slovene hostages by the Gestapo throughout World War II.|
|Dotršćina executions||1941-1945||Dotršćina, Zagreb||7,000||Ustaše||Mass-executions of Serbs, Jews, Roma and Croat Anti-fascist hostages (including 2,000 members of the KPJ and the SKOJ)during the Ustaše occupation of Zagreb. About 90% (c. 6,300) of those executed were Croat civilians and Anti-fascists, due to the fact that most of Zagreb's Serbian, Jewish and Roma populations had either been killed or deported to Jasenovac or Auschwitz by 1942.|
|Pančevo executions||21–22 April 1941||Pančevo, Vojvodina||36||German forces||execution of 36 Serbs by Wehrmacht and Volksdeutsche.[page needed]|
|Gudovac massacre||28 April 1941||Gudovac near Bjelovar, Croatia proper||184–196||Ustaše||massacre of Serbs by Ustaše.|
|Kosinj massacre||30 April 1941||Kosinj, Lika||c. 600||Ustaše||massacre of Serbs by Ustaše.|
|Blagaj massacre||9 May 1941||Blagaj, Croatia proper||c. 400||Ustaše||massacre of Serbs from Veljun and surroundings by Ustaše.|
|Glina massacre||11–13 May 1941||Glina||260–417||Ustaše||massacre of Serbs by Ustaše.|
|Nevesinje massacre||late May–June 1941||Nevesinje, Herzegovina||173||Ustaše||massacre of Serbs by Ustaše.|
|Ljubinje massacre||early June 1941||Ljubinje, Herzegovina||140||Ustaše||massacre of Serbs by Ustaše.|
|Korita massacre||3 June 1941||Korita||133–180||Ustaše||massacre of Serbs by Ustaše; corpses thrown into the Koritska Jama pit.|
|Knin massacre||15 June 1941||Knin||c. 60||Ustaše||massacre of Serbs by Ustaše.|
|Rašića Gaj massacres||22 June–20 July 1941||Rašića Gaj, Vlasenica||70–200||Ustaše Muslim militia||massacre of Serbs by Ustaše Muslim militia.|
|Metković massacre||25 June 1941||Metković||280||Ustaše||massacre of Serbs by Ustaše.|
|Dračevo massacre||25 June 1941||Dračevo||70||Ustaše||massacre of Serbs by Ustaše.[better source needed]|
|Avtovac massacre||28 June 1941||Avtovac||47||Chetniks||massacre of Muslims by Chetniks.|
|Bileća massacre||June 1941||Bileća, Herzegovina||c. 600||Serb rebels||massacre of Muslims by Serb rebels.|
|Čelebić massacre (1941)||July 1941||Čelebić||104||Ustaše||massacre of Serbs by Ustaše.|
|Grabovac massacre||24–25 July 1941||Grabovac, near Petrinja||c. 1,200||Ustaše||massacre of Serbs by Ustaše.|
|Boričevac massacre||27 July 1941||Boričevac||179||Chetniks||massacre of 179 Croats in the village of Boričevac by Chetniks during the Srb uprising|
|Brotnja massacre||27 July 1941||Brotnja||37||Chetniks||massacre of 37 Croats in the village of Brotnja by Chetniks during the Srb uprising[better source needed]|
|Bosansko Grahovo massacre||27 July 1941||Bosansko Grahovo||c.100||Chetniks||massacre of Croats in Bosansko Grahovo by Chetniks during the Srb uprising|
|Obljaj massacre||27 July 1941||Obljaj, Korita, Luka, Ugarci and Crni Lug||250+||Chetniks||Chetnik massacre of Croats across several villages near Bosansko Grahovo during the Srb uprising.|
|Ličko Petrovo Selo massacre||27 July 1941||Ličko Petrovo Selo||313||Ustaše||massacre of Serbs by Ustaše in Ličko Petrovo Selo.|
|Kruščica camp massacre||5 August 1941||Kruščica concentration camp||74||Ustaše||massacre of Serbs from Pale at the Kruščica concentration camp by Ustaše.|
|Višegrad massacre (1941)||July–August 1941||Višegrad, Herzegovina||c. 500||Serb villagers||massacre of Muslims by Bosnian Serbs at Višegrad and environs.|
|Trubar massacre||27 July 1941||Trubar, Bosanska Krajina||300+||Chetniks||massacre of more than 300 Croats, members of a Catholic pilgrimage, who were ambushed near Drvar by Chetniks.[better source needed]|
|Prebilovci massacre||4–6 August 1941||Prebilovci||c. 650||Ustaše||massacre of Serbs by Ustaše.|
|Krnjeuša massacre||9-10 August 1941||Krnjeuša||c. 240||Chetniks||massacre of approximately 240 Croat civilians in the parish of Krnjeuša by Chetniks.|
|Vrtoče massacre||9-10 August 1941||Vrtoče, near Bosanski Petrovac||70||Chetniks||massacre of Croats by Chetniks.|
|Glina massacre||30 July–3 August 1941||Glina||c. 1,200–2,000||Ustaše||massacre of Serbs by Ustaše.|
|Bosanska Dubica massacre||20–21 August 1941||Bosanska Dubica||c. 300||Ustaše||massacre of Serbs by Ustaše.|
|Čitluk and Strigova massacres||22 August 1941||Čitluk and Strigova||26||Ustaše||massacre of Serbs by Ustaše.|
|Novoselci massacre||Early August 1941||Novoselci||31||Ustaše||massacre of Serbs by Ustaše at Novoselci.|
|Zaklopača massacre||August 1941||Srebrenica||81||Chetniks||massacre of Muslims by Chetniks under the command of Jezdimir Dangić; a group of Muslims barricaded in a local mekteb (Muslim religious school) at Zaklopača which was then set alight.|
|Otočac massacre||1941||Otočac||331||Ustaše||massacre of Serbs by Ustaše.|
|Kulen Vakuf massacre||5–8 September 1941||Kulen Vakuf||1,000-3,000||Partisan Drvar Brigade, local Serb rebels||massacre of Muslims and Croats by the Partisan Drvar Brigade and local peasants at Kulen Vakuf.|
|Jošan massacre||1941||Jošan||338||Ustaše||massacre of Serbs by Ustaše.|
|Javor massacre||1941||Javor||100+||Ustaše||massacre of Serbs by Ustaše at Javor, near Srebrenica and Ozren.|
|Ibarski Kolašin massacre||30 September 1941||Ibarski Kolašin||150||Albanians||massacre of Serbs civilians by Albanian Vulnetari commanded by Shaban Polluzha.|
|Kraljevo massacre||mid-October 1941||Kraljevo||1,755||German forces||Wehrmacht murder of almost 1,800 civilians in reprisal shootings|
|Kragujevac massacre||20–21 October 1941||Kragujevac||2,778||German forces||More than 2,000 Serb men and boys murdered by Wehrmacht in reprisal shootings|
|Goražde massacre||29 November 1941||Goražde||300+||Chetniks||massacre of Muslims by Chetnik forces; corpses left hanging in the town or thrown into the Drina river.|
|Visuć massacre||1941||Visuć||85||Ustaše||massacre of Serbs by Ustaše at Visuć.|
|Foča massacre (1941)||5 December 1941||Foča||c. 500||Chetniks||massacre of Muslims at Foča by Chetnik forces who received the town of Foča from the Royal Italian Army.|
|Žepa massacre||late 1941||Žepa||c. 300||Chetniks||massacre of Muslims by Chetnik forces at Žepa.|
|Voćin massacre||14 January 1942||Voćin||350||Ustaše||massacre of Serbs by Ustaše.|
|Čelebić massacre (1942)||January 1942||Čelebić||54||Chetniks||massacre of Muslims by Chetnik forces at Čelebić; village later torched.|
|Žabalj massacre||Christmas at January 1942||Žabalj||700||Hungarian Army||massacre of Serbs by Hungarian forces at Žabalj.|
|Gospođinci massacre||Christmas at January 1942||Gospođinci||100||Hungarian Army||massacre of Serbs by Hungarian forces at Gospođinci|
|Čurug massacre||4-9 January 1942||Čurug||900||Hungarian Army||massacre of Serbs by Hungarian forces at Čurug|
|Đurđevo massacre||January 1942||Đurđevo||300||Hungarian Army||massacre of Serbs by Hungarian forces at Đurđevo|
|Titel massacre||January 1942||Titel||60-80||Hungarian Army||massacre of Serbs by Hungarian forces at Titel|
|Temerin massacre||January 1942||Temerin||48||Hungarian forces||massacre of Jews by Hungarian forces at Temerin|
|Novi Sad raid||22-23 January 1942||Novi Sad||1264||Hungarian Army||massacre of Jews and Serbs driven onto the frozen Danube by Hungarian forces at Novi Sad|
|Bečej raid||27 January 1942||Bečej||250||Hungarian Army||massacre of Jews and Serbs driven onto the frozen Tisa River by Hungarian forces at Bečej.|
|Srebrenica massacre||January 1942||Srebrenica and environs||c. 1,000||Chetniks||massacre of Muslims by Chetniks in Srebrenica and nearby villages.|
|Višegrad massacre (1942)||January 1942||Višegrad||1,000+||Chetniks||massacre of Muslims by Chetniks at Višegrad.|
|Battle of Dražgoše||11–12 January 1942||Dražgoše||41||German forces||41 Slovene hostages executed by the Wehrmacht in Dražgoše.|
|Draksenić massacre||13–15 January 1942||Draksenić||c. 360||Ustaše||massacre of approximately 360 Serbs by Ustaše and Home Guard at Draksenić.|
|Pljeva executions||February 1942||Pljeva, Central Bosnia||41||Partisans||41 captured Croatian Home Guards executed by Partisans.|
|Piskavica and Ivanjska massacre||5, 12 February 1942||Piskavica and Ivanjska||520||Ustaše||massacre of Serbs by Ustaše at Piskavica and Ivanjska |
|Drakulić massacre||7 February 1942||Drakulić, Šargovac, Motike||2,315||Ustaše||massacre of Serbs by Ustaše at Drakulić, Šargovac, and Motike |
|Drakan massacre||3 March 1942||Drakan||42||Chetniks||massacre of Muslims by Chetniks at Drakan |
|Ljubljana executions||24 April-24 July 1942||Ljubljana||103||Italian forces||Massacre of Slovene hostages by Italian forces |
|Pristina killings||Late June 1942||Pristina area||100||Albanians||killings of 100 Serbs by Albanians in Pristina and vicinity.|
|Čabar massacre||July 1942||Čabar||132||Italian forces||Italian forces massacred 132 Croats.|
|Podhum massacre||12 July 1942||Podhum and Testa||108||Italian forces||massacre of 108 Croat civilians by Italian forces in Podhum and Testa |
|Rog massacre||July–August 1942||Rog, near Kočevje||300||Italian forces||massacre of 300 Slovenian civilians by Italian forces during anti-Partisan operations.|
|Jermendol massacre||July–August 1942||Jermendol, near Babno Polje||40||Italian forces||40 Slovenian civilians massacred by Italian forces |
|Foča massacre (1942)||August 1942||Foča||c. 2,000||Chetniks||massacre of Muslims by Chetniks in Foča region.|
|Dragljane massacre||August 1942||Dragljane, near Vrgorac||150||both Chetniks and Italian forces||massacre of 150 Croats by Chetnik and Italian forces|
|Zabiokovlje massacre||29 August 1942||Zabiokovlje region, near Makarska||141||Chetniks||massacre of 141 Croats from several villages in the Zabiokovlje area of southern Croatia by Chetniks.|
|Makarska massacre||September 1942||Makarska||900||Chetniks||Chetniks, under the command of Petar Baćović, massacre 900 Croats around the town of Makarska|
|Dugopolje massacre(1942)||October 1942||Dugopolje and Kotlenice||34||both Chetniks and Italian forces||34 Croats killed by Chetniks, supported by Italian forces.|
|Gata massacre||1 October 1942||Gata||96||Chetniks||96 Croat civilians killed by Chetniks for pro-Yugoslav Partisan sympathies and in retaliation for the destruction of the Split-Omiš road.[better source needed]|
|Prozor massacre||14–15 October 1942||Prozor area||543-2,500||Chetniks||massacre of Croats and Bosnian Muslims by Chetniks due to suspected harboring and aiding the Partisans. It took place during Operation Alfa.|
|Primošten massacre||25 November 1942||Primošten||80||Italian forces||80 Croats killed by Italian forces by deliberately shelling the town of Primošten in retaliation for an earlier Partisan attack.|
|Široka Kula massacre (1943)||January 1943||Široka Kula||185||Italian forces||massacre of 185 Croat civilians in the village of Široka Kula by Italian forces |
|Turkanj massacre||January–February 1943||Turkanj, near Slunj||208||Italian forces||massacre of 208 Croat hostages and civilians by Italian forces |
|Kijevo massacre||27 January 1943||Kijevo||45||Chetniks||massacre of 45 Croats by Chetniks in the village of Kijevo.|
|Bukovica massacre||4–7 February 1943||Bukovica, Pljevlja||more than 500||Chetniks||massacre of more than 500 Muslim civilians during Chetnik attack on positions held by Sandžak Muslim militia.|
|Mekinjar massacre||17 February 1943||Mekinjar, near Udbina||30||both Chetnik and Italian forces||30 Croats killed by Chetniks and Italian forces.|
|Kninsko Polje massacre||April 1943||Kninsko Polje, near Knin||1,000||Chetniks||massacre of 1,000 Croats at a makeshift execution site near Knin.|
|Šibenik executions||23 April-15 June 1943||Šibenik and its environs||240||Italian forces||Execution of 240 Croat hostages in the Šibenik district by Italian forces, in retaliation for Partisan attacks|
|Vrpolje and Perković massacre||22 May 1943||Vrpolje and Perković||66||Italian forces||Massacre of Croat civilians, rounded up from the villages of Vrpolje and Perković, in retaliation for a Partisan attack on the Šibenik-Split railway|
|Međeđe massacre||May–June 1943||Međeđe, near Nikšić||72||Italian forces||massacre of 72 Montenegrin and Serb civilians by Italian forces.|
|Bar massacre(1943)||June 1943||Bar, Montenegro||180||Italian forces||Massacre of Montenegrin prisoners being held in the Bar concentration camp|
|Komin massacre||June 1943||Komin, near Ploče||228||Italian forces||228 Croats massacred by Italian forces.|
|Trepča mine executions||3 June 1943||Trepča mine, Mitrovica||37||Albanians||mass shooting of 37 prisoners by Albanians, Albanian gendarmerie and prison guards at the Trepča mine prison, most of whom were workers that had fell ill, and among whom several were peasants from the Mitrovica vicinity.|
|Trepča mine executions||7 June 1943||Trepča mine, Mitrovica||27||Albanians||mass shooting of 27 prisoners by Albanians, Albanian gendarmerie and prison guards.|
|Vareška Reka massacre||June 1943||Vareška Reka–Ibar confluence||15||Vulnetari and gendarmerie||massacre of Serbs.[clarification needed]|
|Lovreć massacre||10 July 1943||Lovreć||112||both Chetnik and Italian forces||112 Croats (Partisan POWs and civilians) killed by Chetniks and Italian forces.|
|Dugopolje massacre(1943)||September 1943||Dugopolje||40||German forces||40 Croat civilians massacred by 7th SS Volunteer Mountain Division Prinz Eugen. |
|Zrin massacre||9-10 September 1943||Zrin||270||Partisans||massacre of 270 Croat civilians in Zrin by Partisans[why?][better source needed]|
|Foibe massacres||9 September 1943 – 1946||Istria and Dalmatia||994 bodies were excavated 12,000 to 19,000 bodies are estimated||Partisans||Massacres of reprisals against Italian people and anticommunist Yugoslav people[better source needed]|
|Uroševac massacre||11–12 September 1943||Uroševac area||60||Albanians||massacre of Serbs by Albanians, commanded by Amdija Jašarević|
|Imotski massacre||17-30 September 1943||Imotski, Sinj and neighboring villages||230||German forces||230 Croats massacred by the 7th SS Volunteer Mountain Division Prinz Eugen.|
|Rakoš massacre||October 1943||Rakoš||63||Albanians||shooting of Serb villagers|
|Peć killings||November–December 1943||Peć district||230||Albanians||killings of Serbs|
|Lug and Kuk massacre||16 December 1943||Lug and Kuk, near Tomislavgrad||81||German forces||massacre of 81 Croats by the 7th SS Volunteer Mountain Division Prinz Eugen in retaliation for nearby Partisan attacks|
|December victims||20 December 1943||Zagreb||16||Ustaše||16 Croat anti-Fascists hanged on 20 December 1943 on butcher hooks on a public street at the western end of Dubrava in retaliation for the killing of an Ustaše agent, Ljudevit Tiljk, by the Partisans|
|Vranić massacre||20-21 December 1943||Vranić||68||Chetniks||68 Serb civilians killed by Chetniks at Vranić under suspicion of harbouring and/or supporting the Partisans|
|Kamešnica-Mosor valley massacre||26-30 March 1944||Several villages between Kamešnica and Mosor near Split[clarification needed]||1,525||German forces||1,525 Croatian civilians massacred by members of the 7th SS Volunteer Mountain Division Prinz Eugen across several Croat villages in the Kamešnica and Mosor region, near Split[verification needed]|
|Lipa massacre||30 April 1944||Lipa, near Rijeka||269||German forces||massacre of 269 Croatian civilians in Lipa, near Rijeka by the SS Police Regiment Bozen in retaliation for a Partisan ambush near Rupa|
|Dobranje massacre||May 1944||Dobranje||136||Partisans||massacre of 136 Domobrani POWs and Croat civilians by Partisans.|
|Štrpce massacre||30 June 1944||Štrpce||50||Bulgarian forces||mass execution of 50 in retaliation for the death of a Bulgarian soldier.|
|Velika massacre||28 July 1944||Velika, near Plav||428+||SS Skanderbeg||massacre of 428 villagers, mostly children, women and elderly, by Albanian SS members during Operation Draufgänger.|
|Hrvatska Dubica massacre||18–19 September 1944||Hrvatska Dubica||c. 55||Ustaše||massacre of mostly Serb victims by Ustaše at Hrvatska Dubica.|
|Daksa executions||October 1944||Daksa||c. 53||Partisans||Partisans executed around 53 Croat prisoners suspected of being collaborationists |
|Tovarnik massacre||December 1944||Tovarnik||51||Partisans||massacre of 51 Croat and Germans (Volksdeutsche) civilians by Partisans|
|Kozara massacres||17–22 February 1945||Kozara||140+||Ustaše||massacre of mostly Serb victims by Ustaše at Kozara|
|Bar massacre||March 1945||Bar, Montenegro||400–450 to 1,500–2,000||Partisans||massacre of Albanians by Partisans.[better source needed]|
|Jakljan executions||May 1945||Jakljan||214||Partisans||German prisoners executed by Partisans at Jakljan.|
|Tezno massacre||19-26 May 1945||Tezno, near Maribor||15,000||Partisans||execution of NDH prisoners of war and civilians by Partisans.|
|Kočevski Rog massacre||Late May 1945||Kočevski Rog||10,000–12,000||Partisans||execution of Slovene Home Guard members, Croat, Serb and Montenegrin collaborationists, Italian and German troops, by the Partisans.|
|Macelj massacre||May–June 1945||Macelj||1,163 (excavated bodies)||Partisans||execution of NDH prisoners and civilians by Partisan forces[better source needed]|
|Barbara Pit massacre||May–September 1945||Huda Jama||3,000–5,000||Partisans||Croat and Slovene POWs with their families killed by Partisans for reprisal.|
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