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Srbosjek (literally "Serb cutter" in Croatian, often referred to as "cutthroat") is the colloquial Croatian term for a type of knife used for killing prisoners in Croatian concentration camps in World War II.
The knife gained notoriety in the former Yugoslavian countries because it was used by the Croatian Ustaše during World War II for the killing of prisoners in the concentration camps of the Nazi-puppet Independent State of Croatia, most notably the Jasenovac concentration camp. The victims were Serbs, Muslims, Jews, and Roma, imprisoned on 'ethnic' grounds, and significant numbers of Croats, imprisoned on the grounds that they were Yugoslav Partisans resistance members, or on the suspicion of taking part in anti-fascist activities.
The upper part of the knife was made of leather, as a sort of a glove, designed to be worn with the thumb going through the hole, so that only the blade protruded from the hand. It was a curved, 12 cm long knife with the edge on its concave side. The knife was fastened to a bowed oval copper plate, while the plate was fastened to a thick leather bangle. The knife was fixed on the glove plate in order to prevent injuries and to prevent taking care of a separate knife in order to improve the work speed.
Such a type of wheat sheaf knife was manufactured prior to and during World War II by German factory Gebrüder Gräfrath from Solingen under the trademark "Gräwiso". Gebrüder Gräfrath was taken over in 1961 by Hubertus Solingen.
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References[change | change source]
- Land/Forstwirtschaft: Garbenmesser. http://www.hr-online.de/website/fernsehen/sendungen/index.jsp?rubrik=22664&key=standard_document_33193668&lugal=1&ibp=0
- David M. Kennedy, Margaret E. Wagner, Linda Barrett Osborne, Susan Reyburn, The Library of Congress World War II Companion (Simon and Schuster, 2007), pages 640, 646-47, page 683:
At Jasenovac, a series of camps in Croatia, the ultranationalist, right-wing Ustasha murdered Serbs, Jews, Gypsies, Muslims, and political opponents not by gassing, but with hand tools or the infamous graviso or srbosjek (literally, "Serb cutter") - a long, curved knife attached to a partial glove and designed for rapid, easy killing.
- Taborišče smrti--Jasenovac by Nikola Nikolić (author), Jože Zupančić (translator),Založba "Borec", Ljubljana 1969
The knife described on page 72: 'Na koncu noža, tik bakrene ploščice, je bilo z vdolbnimi črkami napisano "Grafrath gebr. Solingen", na usnju pa reliefno vtisnjena nemška tvrtka "Graeviso" '
Picture of the knife with description on page 73: 'Posebej izdelan nož, ki so ga ustaši uporabljali pri množičnih klanjih. Pravili so mu "kotač" - kolo - in ga je izdelovala nemška tvrtka "Graeviso" '
- Vladimir Dedijer (Editor), Harvey L. Kendall (Translator), The Yugoslav Auschwitz and the Vatican: The Croatian Massacre of the Serbs During World War II (Prometheus Books. July 1992)
- Für die Richtigkeit: Kurt Waldheim by Hanspeter Born Schneekluth, 1987 ISBN 3795110556, 9783795110550, page 65
Beliebt war das sogar wettbewerbsmäßig organisierte Kehledurchschneiden mit einem speziellen Krumm-messer Marke Gräviso.
Bibliography[change | change source]
- Ladislaus Hory and Martin Broszat: Der kroatische Ustascha-Staat, 1941-1945, Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt Stuttgart, 1964
- Dave Hunt: Die Frau und das Tier Geschichte, Gegenwart und Zukunft der römischen Kirche © 1994 by Dave Hunt, Herausgegeben von Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon - Das Abschlachten der Serben Chapter, pages 289-301
- 44 mjeseca u Jasenovcu by Egon Berger Publisher: Graficki Zavod Hrvatske, Zagreb 1966