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Nazi extermination site
Garavice is located in Yugoslavia
Location of Garavice in Bosnia and Hercegovina
Coordinates44°49′27″N 15°50′27″E / 44.82417°N 15.84083°E / 44.82417; 15.84083Coordinates: 44°49′27″N 15°50′27″E / 44.82417°N 15.84083°E / 44.82417; 15.84083
LocationNear Bihać, Bosnia and Hercegovina
Operated byIndependent State of Croatia and Ustaše
OperationalJuly 1941 – September 1941
Inmatesprimarily Serbs, Jews and Roma
Killedest. around 15,000
Liberated byYugoslav Partisans

Garavice (Serbo-Croatian: Garavice/Гаравице) was an extermination location established by the Independent State of Croatia during World War II near Bihać, northwest Bosnia and Herzegovina. Between 12,000 and 15,000 people, mostly Serb civilians, were murdered at Garavice by the Ustaše regime in 1941.

Garavice massacre is a part of widespread persecution of Serbs, genocide that included extermination, expulsions and forced religious conversions of large numbers of ethnic Serbs by the Ustaše regime in the Independent State of Croatia. These atrocities were carried out by Croat collaborators and Axis occupying forces during World War II.[1][2][3][4]


The Independent State of Croatia was founded by the Ustaše on 10 April 1941, after the invasion of Yugoslavia by the Axis powers. The Independent State of Croatia consisted of most of modern-day Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, together with some parts of modern-day Serbia.[5] Croatia was the only nation beside Germany to operate extermination camps during World War II.[6]

Some of the first decrees issued by the leader of the Independent State of Croatia Ante Pavelić reflected the Croatian adoption of the racist ideology of Nazi Germany towards Jews and Serbs.[7]

Mass murders[edit]

Arrests of Serb and Jewish civilians in and around Bihać were ordered by Ljubomir Kvaternik, a county prefect, in June 1941. Arrestees were transported and executed at Garavice, near Bihać. In July 1941, the Ustaše murdered between 12,000 and 15,000 Serbs, Jews, and Roma in Garavice.[8] The largest number of victims were Serbs. Corpses were thrown in mass graves at Garavice or tossed into the nearby Klokot and Una rivers.[9][10]

Memorial Park

Memorial Park[edit]

In 1981, the Yugoslav government established a memorial park in Garavice, designed by renowned architect Bogdan Bogdanović and opened 39 years after the massacre. In 2011, the memorial park was declared a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Since then, however, the park has reportedly been neglected by the Bosnian government, and is overgrown with and bushes, and desecrated with Nazi and Ustaša graffiti.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Serbian Genocide". Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  2. ^ MacDonald, David Bruce (2002). Balkan Holocausts?: Serbian and Croatian Victim Centered Propaganda and the War in Yugoslavia (1.udg. ed.). Manchester: Manchester University Press. p. 261. ISBN 978-0-7190-6467-8.
  3. ^ Mylonas, Christos (2003). Serbian Orthodox Fundamentals: The Quest for an Eternal Identity. Budapest: Central European University Press. p. 115. ISBN 978-963-9241-61-9.
  4. ^ Jonsson, David J. (2006). Islamic economics and the final jihad: the Muslim brotherhood to Leftist/Marxist - Islamist alliance. Xulon Press. p. 504. ISBN 978-1-59781-980-0.
  5. ^ "Garavice kod Bihaća: Pomen za 14.500 stradalih Srba, Jevreja i Roma". Retrieved 15 July 2017.
  6. ^ Pavlowitch, Stevan K. (2008). Hitler's New Disorder: The Second World War in Yugoslavia. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 1-85065-895-1.
  7. ^ Lemkin, Raphael (2008). Axis Rule in Occupied Europe. The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd.
  8. ^ WWII history of Garavice; accessed 28 May 2014.
  9. ^ The Yugoslav Auschwitz and the Vatican, Vladimir Dedijer, Gottfried Niemietz, Harvey L. Kendall, 1992, Prometheus Books; ISBN 0-87975-752-3, page 34.
  10. ^ "ПРВИ ОКРУГЛИ СТО „ГАРАВИЦЕ 1941“ | Јадовно 1941". Retrieved 15 July 2017.