The Jasenovac camp was primarily a death camp. In the Jasenovac camp system, there were execution sites where detainees were killed in the most primitive ways. Methods of killing included hanging, killing with knives, hammers and axes, and firearms. The killings took place at various locations within the Jasenovac camp complex and related camps, but also in the vicinity of Jasenovac and nearby villages.
"I don't remember the date, but it was soon after I arrived at the camp. After lunch there was a performance of the whole camp in the area in front of the barracks. It was a line-up on special occasions like this one. We lined up in groups. I see gallows in front of us and three loops prepared on them. They took three detainees. They are chained, their hands tied, beaten and they can barely stand on their feet. We are lined up to watch this horrible sight. "
Bogdan Petković, One Hundred and Thirty-Five Days in the Jasenovac Camp, Banja Luka, Association of World War II Detainees and Their Descendants, 2008, p. 207.
The main execution site of the largest Jasenovac camp, Brickworks, was located on the right bank of the Sava River, not far from the village of Donja Gradina. The first mass liquidation of detainees in Donja Gradina was carried out by Stanko Vasilj, Ustasha lieutenant of the 1st Battalion of the Ustasha Defense in Jasenovac. As it was not possible to excavate the graves due to the severe winter, the Ustashas transported the locals of nearby Jablanac to Donja Gradina by ferry and killed them, setting them on fire in the houses of the exiled citizens of Gradina. From then until the last day of the existence of Brickworks camp, mass killings of detainees took place in Donja Gradina. There are 105 mass graves on nine grave fields with a total area of 10,130 m2.
A special graveyard group of detainees buried the bodies of those killed in large trenches that were excavated in the immediate vicinity of the camp fence at the Limani site (southeast corner of the large camp), as well as in the camp itself. During the arrangement of the monumental space of the camp III Brickworks in Jasenovac, mass graves at the Limani camp cemetery were arranged and marked. There are seven mass graves at Limani. The total area of the cemetery is 1,175 m2. In 2002, a bronze plaque with verses from the poem "The Pit" by Ivan Goran Kovačić was transferred to the Limani (from the area in front of the Memorial Museum).
In the interwar period, Granik had the function of a crane used for loading and unloading river boats. In the fall of 1944, Granik became the site of mass executions. The detainees would be brought to the edge of a wooden plateau. The hands, on which the Ustashas hung heavy metal objects, would be tied to their backs. The Ustashas then threw them into the Sava River by hitting them in the head with various blunt objects.
The bell tower
One of the execution sites within the Brickworks camp itself was the bell tower (Zvonara), ie the camp building turned into a prison. It was located at the very entrance to the camp.
"Before the murders in Gradina, the Ustashas put many victims, who they wanted to punish more severely before their death, in the bell tower, a shed on the right side at the exit from the camp. In that shed there were bells, taken from Orthodox churches, which is why it got its name. Many detainees passed by the "Bell Tower" and listened to the cries of the unfortunate victims. A few lucky people managed to get out having some crazy luck and they told us about that horror tower."
Nikola Nikolić, Jasenovac Death Camp, Sarajevo, NIŠP Oslobođenje, p. 81.
Međustrugovi and Uskok forest
Located about 8 km from the village of Gornji Varoš upstream on the river Sava, and a few kilometers south of the village Vrbovljani. They mark the execution sites where massacres and executions of detainees from the Ustasha camp V Stara Gradiška were committed, especially during 1944. In 1946, 967 victims (311 men, 467 women and 189 children) were exhumed from four mass graves in the Uskok Forest. The remains of these victims were later buried in a common grave at the camp cemetery in Stara Gradiška. The remains of the identified victims were transferred to the areas from which they were brought to the camp (almost exclusively victims from the Srijem area).
About 1,000 victims were buried in the Međustrugovi forest in a large grave pit. Intertwined with each other, with no grave goods, these victims were thrown naked into a pit. Their identification and excavation was not possible due to the condition and position in which they were found. Among others, a large number of locals from the village of Vrbovljani were buried in this mass grave.