Between the two world wars, the Jewish community in Šabac had between 70 and 80
members. More than 1,000 Jewish refugees from Central Europe, on the run from Nazi
persecution, whose journey to Palestine had been interrupted in Kladovo, were granted refuge in
this town on the Sava River in 1940. The Jews from the so-called Kladovo Transport were
settled there in makeshift accommodation, the buildings of a former mill on Janka Veselinovića
Street and in warehouses located at the end of Pop Lukina Street, while some of these refugees
managed to find private accommodation in town houses.

The April 1941 war brought on a new period of uncertainty. The establishment of the
German occupation authority in Šabac was followed by a series of anti-Semitic measures, the
marking of all Jews, but also of Roma, prohibition of employment in state and other services,
closure of shops, restriction of movement and forced labor. In July of the first war year, there
was an internment of the Jewish people in the concentration camp on the bank of the Sava which
the German authorities had established for them. A small part of the Jewish refugees managed to
continue their journey to Palestine during the German occupation, but still more than a thousand
people, including the Šabac Jews, were detained in the camp. It was located on the site of former
sheds housing the Yugoslav Army’s artillery weapons. The camp was run by the Germans, but
some Volksdeutsche (native Germans) could also be found among the guards. The camp,
surrounded by barbed wire, comprised six sheds, in very poor condition, designed to house

hundreds of prisoners, as well as several auxiliary buildings. The detained Jews were forced to
engage in hard labor in the town itself, and then returned to the camp where they stayed in
inhumane conditions, facing food shortages, poor hygiene and disease.

The uprising against the German occupation authorities in September 1941 and the attack
on Šabac led to the decision to intensify German repression of the population from the territory
of Šabac and its surroundings. At the end of September 1941, one of the most brutal measures of
retaliation, known as the “bloody march” took place. The male Šabac population between the
ages of 14 and 70, as well as the Jews and the Roma from the Sava camps, were forced to run for
23 kilometers, enduring beatings and torture, to the camp located near the village of Jarak in
Srem. Those who could not endure the march were executed, and the rest were returned to the
town after a few days, where they were placed in the new Šabac camp at Senjak. A few days
later, the male Jewish population was returned to the camp by the Sava river. In accordance with
the German penal policy at the time, in mid-October 1941, a decision was taken to shoot 2100
Jews and Roma in retaliation for 21 German soldiers killed. The male Jews from the Sava camps,
the Šabac Roma and some Serbs from Šabac and the surrounding area were thus shot dead in the
village of Zasavica in Srem on 12 and 13 October, while other hostages were taken from the
Topovske Šupe camp in Belgrade. According to the Yugoslav post-war data, collected after the
exhumation of the mass grave in Zasavica, a figure of 868 victims was established. After the
massacre, only Jews with children remained in the Sava camp. In early 1942, women and
children were moved to Ruma, from where, tired and hungry, they were forced to walk in cold
weather to the camp at the Staro Sajmište in Belgrade. That same year, they were executed in gas
vans. The Sava camp remained in operation until 19 September 1944 and until that time served
as a temporary camp for prisoners from Bosnia and Podrinje.


Literature: Jaša Romano, Jevreji Jugoslavije 1941-1945 (The Jews of Yugoslavia from 1941 to
1945), Beograd 1980, Stanoje Filipović, Logori u Šapcu (Prison Camps in Šabac), Novi Sad
1967, Miloš Jevtić (ed.), Šabac i Jevreji u susretu (Šabac Meets Jews), Šabac 2003, Milica
Mihailović (ed.), Kladovo transport: zbornik radova sa okruglog stola(The Kladovo Transport, a
Collection of Works from the Round Table), Beograd 2002, AJ (The Yugoslav Archive), 110 (the
State Commission for the Investigation of the Crimes of the Occupiers and their Collaborators),
F-908, 1033-1035). Photograph source: The Jewish History Museum, k-24-3-1/6b.