Batinova Kosa

From the document “Sela Kotara Vrginmost u NOB“: Dušan Baić: KOTAR VRGINMOST U NO BORBI 1941 – 1945. The following has been translated to English from the Serbo-Croatian original produced in the Sixties in the old Yugoslavia. The original is available on at the address linked above. Many more villages are described we hope to add to this site.

Note: The Victim List included with this document was cast into an Excel file and re-ordered by date to reveal the mentioned atrocities. That can be found at the bottom of this post.

Photograph taken of Glina massacre victims shortly before they were killed. Note: as many as seven of these massacres took place according to testimonies. It is unknown if these men pictured were from Batinova Kosa or another of the towns that suffered these atrocities.

The village of Batinova Kosa is located in the eastern part of the territory of the district of Vrginmost, on the border with the former district of Glina. It stretches on gentle slopes north of Gređan, between Šatornja, Čemernica and Bukovica. According to the population census in 1931, the village had 430 inhabitants, before the war in 1941, 74 households with about 474 inhabitants, and according to the first post-war census in 1948, 45 households with 184 inhabitants. Except for five families of Croatian nationality, the rest of the inhabitants are Serbs.

The basic and exclusive occupation of the people was agriculture. The low-quality land and the primitive method of cultivation did not provide the population with food from harvest to harvest. Taxes, over-indebtedness of peasants and various state duties increased misery and poverty even more. This was one of the main causes of dissatisfaction and hatred towards the former regime and its institutions, and the result was political turmoil and commitment to various political parties, which especially occurred during the pre-election and election campaigns. However, despite this, there were no organized political parties in the village, nor was there any KPH organization.

There was neither a school nor a church in the village. The children attended school in Čemernica and Šatornja, but even so, the percentage of literacy was relatively high, over 75%.

With the capitulation of the former Yugoslavia and the declaration of the so-called NDH, in this village too there was fear for tomorrow. Life died down and people were constantly in some kind of expectation, but they themselves did not know what. They were closer to Ustaša strongholds (Topusko, Topusko railway station, Čemernica, Gređani railway station, Glina), which caused even more uncertainty and fear. People listened to Ustaša threats every day, and soon Ustaša harassment, arrests, and murders began. The first victims, without any guilt, were Stojan Petra Ajdlnović, Dušan Rade Jakšić, and Mile Save Letica. On May 10, 1941, the Ustašas took them to the Danica camp near Koprivnica, and then transferred them to the Jadovno camp near Gospić, where they were killed.

Memorial plaque to those killed in Ratković Strana – Čemernica
TEXT ON THE MEMORIAL PLAQUE: »Ratkovića Strana, a place of outrageous humiliation and genocide, where on January 20, 1942, Ustaša criminals killed seventy-four children, women and girls from Batinova Kosa with axes.»

After this first Ustaša crime, there was a period of relative calm, but there was still uncertainty among the people, and psychological pressure from the Ustaša in the style of “Srbe na Verbe” “Serbs to the Willows”[in other words, “Lynch the Serbs.”.] Going to Serbia, converting to Catholicism [which would make them Croatian ethnically], or going to work in Germany. People found themselves in a difficult situation, they did not know what to do, and they had no help from the outside.

Such a difficult situation was created by their neighbor Josip Živčić, who at the end of April 1941 became the Ustaša commissioner of the municipality of Čemernica and took over power, which he carried out according to Ustaša directives. He immediately moved into the house of Petar Manojlović, whom he exiled to Serbia, and took over Stojan Manojlović’s shop. He took over entire estates for the passes he gave to people for emigration to Serbia. He carried out propaganda to go to “baptism” [to Catholicism] because this will allegedly ensure the right of citizenship in the NDH. According to his order, a meeting of the people of the villages of Batinova Kosa and Bukovica was held. That gathering, held on August 1, 1941, starting at 8:00 p.m. and ending at around 12:00 p.m., was devoted to the discussion of “baptism.” There were long discussions and even arguments about whether or not to go to baptism. No solution was found and an agreement was not reached. People returned home without an agreement.

the Ustašas took them to Glina and killed them all in the Glina Orthodox Church

The next day, August 2, 1941, even though no agreement was reached, the people went to baptism en masse. Women and children were returned to their homes, and 94 people were taken to Vrginmost, where the “ceremonial” act of converting to another religion was to be performed. Instead, along with people from other villages, the Ustašas took them to Glina and killed them all in the Glina Orthodox Church. Josip Živčić was captured by partisans — the partisan detachment of Maličko, 23/24 in October 1941, and because of his crimes, he was sentenced to death and shot. Then the municipal building and the municipal archive were burned.

After these Ustaša crimes against innocent people from Batinova Kosa, the remaining people began to look at Ustaša politics with different eyes. There was an agreement and self-organization for resistance to Ustaša violence. The basic motto was not to fall alive into the hands of Ustaša butchers. Under the influence of the development of the uprising in Bović, Malička, Perna, and Bania, more organized preparations for armed struggle began. The collection of weapons, the hiding of foodstuffs, the organization of patrol, guard and observation services began.

At the same time, Ustaša propaganda did not stand still either. They were creating another plan again. Posters and advertisements appeared, the content of which was that all those families whose heads had gone to baptism could freely stay in their homes, move freely, that they would be spared Ustaša persecution, with the obligation to stick these posters on the walls of their houses. Some women, who were left without their husbands and elderly people, fell for this propaganda, which they paid for with their lives.

Preparations for armed resistance did not stop. People were constantly on their guard and agreed on what to do. Finally, they met on October 8, 1941, in Bukovački Mill and agreed to form a partisan detachment based on the example of other insurgent villages with which they maintained connections and contacts. In the presence of KP member Milan Zimonja from Trstenica, PO Bović, who helped them to organize, 15 volunteers joined the squad, including Nikola Jovana Borota, Bogdan Jovana Duždevic, Dušan Janka Duždevic, Jandre Uroša Duždevic and Pavao from Batinova Kosa. Ilije Duždevic. The squad had two old “manlier” carbines, several hunting rifles, and pistols. At the same time, a decision was made to join the Bovic Partisan Detachment, so this group did not even act as an independent Partisan Detachment.

Documentary featuring Ljuban Jednak, who survived one of the Glina Church massacres. View on Youtube.

Before joining PO Bović, this temporarily independent group carried out several actions against the Ustaša in their area. In a length of 200 meters, it destroyed the railway and TT studs on the Glina – Topusko route, waited for the gendarmerie patrol, which went to Batinovo Kosa and wounded two gendarmes, and in an ambush near the bridge in Shatornja, it waited and shot at the Ustaša patrol, which was moving along the railway from Glina for Topusko. However, the patrol managed to escape.

After 94 people were tricked into being baptized and killed, the residents of Dili were more or less peaceful after the Ustaša incursions. However, despite this, the majority lived in Bukovica, where the security conditions were better, because they were further from the road and closer to the forest. All this lasted until the Ustaša offensive in December 1941, which continued in January 1942. Then, from January 7 to January 20, the Ustaša set fire to the entire village, and on January 20, they killed 73 innocent women, children and old men. This action was fiendishly planned by the Ustašas. First, they pacified the people, and then, with stronger Ustaša Home Guard units, they surrounded the villages of Batinova Kosa and Bukovica and took all those they found at the houses to Čenernica near the house of Stanica Ratković. There, they first gang-raped girls and women, and then took them one by one and killed them with an ax in a valley called Ratkovića Strana.

Historical population, Batinova Kosa 1857-2011 [1][3]


Note the precipitous drops in population in the census in 1948 and 2001

Sources: Croatian Bureau of Statistics

After the formation of the combat group and its departure to PO Bović, with the help of Dolitica party workers from the terrain of Bović and Trstenica, on November 19, 1941, the Drvi joint NOO was elected for Batinovo Kosa and Bukovica. Pavla Đure Borota, Bogdan Jovana Duždevic were elected to the board from Batinova Kosa, and later, Evica Nosić, married to Majstorović, stood out as a member of the board.

After the return of the people to their homes, in the second half of May 1942, a joint youth organization and AFŽ organization was formed for Batinova Kosa and Bukovica. Siavka and Dragica Draga Tanasjje Čavić, Mara Đure Jakšić, Nikola Nikola Nosić and Ljubica Vranješević were admitted to the joint active team of SKOJ from Batinova Kosa, and Dragica Dragica Jovana Ajdinović and Evica Jakova Nosić to the AFŽ board.

Akti v SKOJ managed the youth organization, which was at the forefront in all issues related to the NOB. In addition to political work, collecting provisions for NOV and helping the families of war victims, they also worked on gathering and preparing young people to go to partisan units. With the formation of youth companies in the first half of 1942, Milan Ajdinović, Petar and Stanko Borota, Simo Letica and Dragan Ostojić went from Batinova Kosa to Sjeničak for youth military courses. After completing the course, they were assigned to units of the 8th Kordun Division and the 13th Proletarian Brigade, which was formed from November 7 to 10, 1942 in Gornji Sjeničak.

During the four-year NOB, the village of Batinova Kosa gave 30 active NOV fighters, one of whom is the bearer of the »Partisan Monument 1941«, and eight died as fighters. 235 inhabitants were killed by the Ustašas, eight died of typhus, and six were victims of the war. Of the 474 inhabitants before the war, more than half died, or a total of 257. The village was burned to the ground, and 13 families disappeared completely. Of the 235 innocent people, women and children killed in 1941, 104 were killed, of which 94 were killed in Glina on “crucifixion”, in 1942 129, of which 73 were killed in the Ratković side on January 20, 1942, and one died in 1943.

Batinova Kosa Victim List – Alphabetical

Batinova Kosa Victim List – Date Order

The occurence of atrocities involving scores of people become apparent when viewed in date order. Note the cluster of deaths in August in the Glina church, and in January 1942, the massacre of women and children with axes.






3 responses to “Batinova Kosa”

  1. Pero KOVACEVIC Avatar

    The pdf book “Kotar Vrginmost u NOB-u 1941-45” can be downloaded from the following link:

    1. Pero KOVACEVIC Avatar
      Pero KOVACEVIC

      Ја се сјећам кад је Јовица Лончар† почетком седамдесетих година у Перни прикупљао информације и материјал за ту књигу.

      Та књига је већи споменик невиним жртвама усташког покоља 1941-1945. него споменик на Петровој Гори. Дјелови су већ преведени на енглески језик, а биће и цјела књига преведена на енглески и руски језик.

    2. Linda Keres Carter Avatar

      Wonderful. If you had time to check this translation against the original it would be very valuable. I haven’t used this translator before in public.

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