Gudovac, April 28, 2022 – Commemorating the anniversary of the first Ustasha mass crime against Serbs from the Bjelovar region. The crime took place in Gudovac on April 28, 1941. The commemoration and religious ceremony were held at the Memorial Site. (PHOTO: HINA / Igor KOKORUŠ / ik)

On Thursday wreaths were laid and candles lit at the Gudovac Memorial Site to pay respect to the victims on the occasion of the 81st anniversary of the Ustasha mass crime against Serbs from the Bjelovar region, which took place already 18 days after the proclamation of the Independent State of Croatia (NDH) in 1941.


Members of the Croatian Peasant Protection, converted into an Ustasha unit, following the orders of the Ustasha colonel and commander of the regime’s supervisory service Eugen Dida Kvaternik, arrested 200 residents of a village near Bjelovar the day before and then shot them dead in Gudovac the next morning.

The President of the Anti-fascist League (AFL), Zoran Pusić, Bjelovar-Bilogora County Prefect Marko Marušuć, Bjelovar Mayor Dario Hrebak, representatives of the Serb National Council (SNV), anti-fascist associations, as well as family members and relatives of those killed attended the commemoration for the victims. For the first time, representatives of VeDRA, the Association of Homeland War Veterans and Anti-fascists, also participated in the commemoration.

Pusić pointed out that 30 to 40 years ago he had thought that crimes like this would never happen again, but that he was not so sure today.

“We founded the Anti-fascist League precisely to oppose those ideas and values that turned ordinary people into criminals,” he emphasised.

“There must be no place for historical revisionism, and we must make it clear that these crimes were committed by Ustashas who were Croats,” said retired General Luka Džanko, who led preparations for Operation Flash in Bjelovar in 1994.



Gudovac Commemoration, April 28, 2022