A memorial plaque commemorating Stjepan Kolb was unveiled at the Jewish Cemetery in the eastern town of Djakovo on Sunday as part of a ceremony honouring about 600 Jews killed in an Ustasha concentration camp that had operated in Djakovo in 1941-1942.
Kolb, a local undertaker, put his own life at risk by secretly recording the names and other personal details of the camp victims he buried at the cemetery. Thanks to him, the Jewish Cemetery in Djakovo is the only cemetery in Europe to display the full names, years and places of birth of the camp prisoners buried there.
"The camp in Djakovo was one of 40 Ustasha camps. Thanks to the undertaker Kolb, we know the names of about 600 victims buried here, which is a unique case in Europe and the only cemetery showing the names of the Holocaust victims," the head of the coordinating body of Jewish communities in Croatia, Ognjen Kraus, said at the ceremony.
The commemoration was attended by representatives of Jewish communities from Croatia, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was mostly Bosnian Jews, mainly women, children and the elderly, that had been interned in Djakovo, and about 2,000 of them passed through the camp.
Also among those attending were three camp survivors and representatives of the local government authorities and the Djakovo-Osijek Archdiocese, as well as the grandson of Stjepan Kolb, Zeljko Markovic from Djakovo, who said he was proud of what his grandfather had done.