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Crime as programme

Event the smallest item in the agreement of this brave group of local Ustashas and outsiders was based on crime. They were aware of lawlessness under which they would arrest people to be brought to Slana; they were aware of the difficult road the prisoners would take across Velebit; they knew that their new organizations were not equipped with transportation vehicles and that prisoners would be tied up and brought on foot from Gospić to Karlobag; they agreed to put them in small, uncomfortable boats in Karlobag, because only those types of boats were available in neighbouring ports; being islanders, they knew that the prisoners would be brought to the cruellest terrain possible for human habitation, a terrain unfit even for snakes, let alone people; they knew that there were no resources to feed prisoners in this poor area, which was always poor, and now starving in the war, etc.

The competent group who had laid foundations for the Slana camp that day were aware of their crime (or should have been!), and accepted crime as their task. I would like to stress that the renowned Ustasha, who later on bragged that he had brought his military map on which they marked the location of the concentration camp, who was an active participant in disarmament of the old Yugoslav Army, the person who received a high decoration from Pavelić for his service, was none the other than the priest, the clergyman, don Joso Felicinović the Noble (we are going to talk about him some more in the book). At the time he was marking the location for the camp he was also the President of the Municipal Red Cross organization!

It is a custom when describing these deviant times and criminal actions to publish documents on decisions to commit crime, on inhuman and despicable actions, proclamations and “laws”, documents which show according to which guidelines the criminals acted. Over the years most relevant documents covering this topic have already been published and readers are familiar with them. In this book we publish only documents that are related only to this area and on the case named SLANA after the location.

“Slana” (salty) in the vocabulary of people living on the coast is usually used for bays or lagoons in which salt is forming or in which the winds are so strong and dry that they leave an abundant crust of salt on the coast and boats located there, so it is impossible for such locations to get a name different from the one that nature itself whispered or cried. Pag is famous for its salt, gale and sun. It is trying to prove that it has the highest number of sunny days in the Adriatic. Salt pans, which existed even in the most distant centuries in the southern part of the island and produced vast amounts of salt, also appeared on smaller areas and in other locations in the shallows of bays, so those locations also had similar names in variants to remind us on the precious gift or a small whim of nature. In whichever bay there was clay, watertight sediments at sea level, the man used it, whether by using the original pans, adjusting them, or by building wider terraces of clay, on which during harsh sunny days he would pour the sea and waited for salt to crystallize.

So, for an ancient economy reasons, or as a consequence of gale which strikes everywhere here and leaves a white crust of salt, this bay has been named Slana long time ago.

I have been interpreting this name in more detail because since the first day the camp was formed the name Slana is mistaken with the Pag salt pans, where people have been producing salt for centuries. These salt pans are a dozen kilometres to the south from the misfortunate Slana with which Pag and its residents, apart from a handful of Ustasha, had nothing to do with, except the feeling of sorrow over the crime happening in their vicinity.

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Pomozite rad udruženja Jadovno 1941.

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