80th Anniversary Of Diana Budisavljević’s Children Rescue Action Marked

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The commemorative event was held in a yard in downtown Zagreb where a majority of the saved children had been brought from Ustasha-led concentration camps to be taken by their foster families.

The commemoration was organised by the Documenta nongovernmental organisation, the Serb People’s Council (SNV), and the Jasenovac Memorial Centre in memory of 10 July 1942 when humanitarian Diana Budisavljević arrived in the NDH-led Stara Gradiška camp and started registering children in a bid to save them.

Documenta leader Vesna Teršelič said that Budisavljević had actually begun her operation in October 1941 as soon as she had got information about the camps in Loborgrad which prompted her to do something and rescue children from those camps.

The commemorative events are also scheduled for Sunday, 10 July.

Teršelič said that Croatia was still dealing with many challenges concerning the legacy of the Nazi-style Independent State of Croatia (NDH), and warned that the For the Homeland Ready salute and Ustasha insignia had not yet been outlawed.

She expressed satisfaction with the attendance of young people from Italy, Germany, Greece, Ukraine, and Slovenia at the commemoration, within the EU-supported project “Between Memory and Oblivion – WWII places of memory”.

Born in Innsbruck in 1891, Diana nee Obexer married Julije Budisavljevic in 1917, who at that time worked as an assistant at the surgical clinic in Innsbruck. By 1919, the couple had moved to Zagreb. She lived in Zagreb with her husband until 1972, when they moved back to Innsbruck. She died on 20 August 1978, aged 87.

In 2020, researcher and historian Natasa Matausic issued a book about Diana Budisavljevic in which she writes that this humanitarian woman of the Austrian ethnic background saved about 7,700 children from homes and Ustash-run camps during WWII.


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