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 archive.org 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.
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.
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.