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VWI invites/goes to...
Emil Kjerte: The Personnel of the Jasenovac Concentration and Death Camp Complex. Biographical Profiles and Pathways to the Camp Complex

Wednesday, 8. March 2023, 15:00 - 17:00

Vienna Wiesenthal Institute, Research Lounge, 1010 Vienna, Rabensteig 3, 3rd Floor


VWI invites University of Rijeka

KjertePresentationCompared to the extensive historiography on German Holocaust perpetrators that has emerged since the 1990s, the literature on non-German perpetrators is less extensive. This presentation focuses on the Croatian men and women stationed in the Jasenovac concentration and death camp complex, which was the epicenter of state-organised destruction in the fascist Independent State of Croatia. From its establishment in August 1941 to its disbandment in late April 1945, an estimated 90,000 to 100,000 people perished in the camp complex. Drawing on investigation and trial records from judicial proceedings in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Emil Kjerte analyses the social and regional background of the guards and details the pathways that led them to the camp complex. He explores their socialisation, formative experiences, and their motivation for joining the guard force. A key distinction is made between the officers, who most often were ideologically committed Ustašas before their arrival in the camp complex, and the rank-and-file guards, who tended to volunteer for more mundane, economic reasons.

Commented by Lovro Kralj

Emil Kjerte is currently a Junior Fellow at VWI, and PhD student at the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University. B.A. in History at the University of Copenhagen and M.A. in Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Uppsala University. Fellowships from the Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah in Paris and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington.

Lovro Kralj specialises in the fields of fascism, antisemitism, and Holocaust studies with a regional focus on central and southeastern Europe. He has participated in and presented at more than twenty international workshops and conferences, including the Lessons and Legacies conference. In addition, he has received multiple fellowships, including the Junior Fellowship at the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies. In 2021, he was awarded the Claims Conference University Partnership Lectureship at the University of Rijeka, where he continues to teach the history of the Holocaust.

Photo: Stipe Prpić, Miroslav Filipović and Jerolim Maričić – Officers in Jasenovac, © Jasenovac Memorial Museum

Please register at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by latest 7 March 2023, 12.00 am and bring your ID. By attending, you consent to the publication of photographs, video and audio recordings made during the event.

Click here to download the invitation as a PDF file.

In cooperation with:
uni rijeka

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The Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies (VWI) is funded by:


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