Viktor Malinarić

* 1923

  • "A: it was a little tricky in the hospital… it happened more than once with the wounded, the unexpected death. They would come with a note, room such and such, first name, last name he should be eliminated, and it would happen. There were two men from my room...two of them, you’ll see why I’m telling you this. Two of them. I knew one of them, he was from Slavonski Brod, I don’t know his name or the other one’s name. They came inside, called his name, yes you “Get up” and we were all badly injured but he had to stand up. Get up, and they’d take him and maybe 100, 110, 120 yards from us, from our barrack there was this natural pit in the yard, it belonged to the hospital because our barrack was a part of the hospital. It was a natural pit, they called it the “cast house”, it was a freaking cast house. They would throw casts and bandages there, all hospital things and women. And they killed people there. They would come to the pit and shoot them and they would go in. And that was it. Q: Ustaše did that? A: yes, I told you they killed two from my room and I would hear shots when they killed the others."

  • "One day, it was an afternoon, the head of the hospital came to my room, he was often there and he was one of us, our boss was for the partisans and he used to be Ustaša always in a uniform. Then he came and said “Malinarić Viktor”, “That’s me”, it was my turn. Yes, and he was there, there were two of them, he was there the boss and there was this one officer domobran in his uniform. And he said he was outside, he was not in his room, he was alone in the hallway, outside, taking a walk on his crutch. And the officer told me “Where is your room?” and I said “There”. And he said “let’s go to the room” and the three of us went in. So we came in the room and he said “where is your bed?” and I said “That’s my bed”. And then the officer said “please stand there” and he said “you have to leave us”, he said to the ustaša. “Ok”, he said, “I will”. And he left. After he left he said to me “Vittorio, I am zerman. I am zerman, don’t be afraid. I know what is happening but nothing will happen to you” and then we talked for awhile. I asked him how could he be a zerman? And he said “I am Maruca’s son” Maruca is my mother’s sister. And then he said: “Victor, we will keep an eye on you. No person can come near you. You are under a strict control of the SS Germany. No person can come near you but I could because I am wearing the uniform, I can. I will come again”

  • "...In the hospital where the Ustaša worked. When we were sleeping at night...a wounded man sleeps day and night if he can. And every night the ustaša patrol would come and they would enter the rooms, they did that before and they would look at the charts, ask our names to speak to you and they’d come to you and ask: “where were you wounded?”. He could read it but he asked anyway. “In the leg, in the ribs”, “Oh, I see.” And then you’d ask him, now what? And he would take his gun and poke you right in the wound.” 2: “Those were really wounds?” “ yes. And when they amputated my leg, I had a few kilograms of sand on my skin, I don’t know much about medicine, it was used to tighten the skin and this sand pulled on my skin, you understand?to the end of the bed, that was glued like that and he would pick it up, and when he picked it up it hurt so bad.” 2: “They knew when it would hurt?” “He did it on purpose. Ustaše did that kind of thing. And he didn’t answer to anyone, Who? Yes, that’s the truth, yes. I: How did Stanko end up? Do you know? No. I never knew, never. I don’t know how anybody ended up. I tried looking for them, my daughter helped but I can’t. Where is he, is he alive, where...I don’t know, I don’t know. I don’t know where he ended up or where the Italian ended up. I don’t know, I don’t know. Because you can’t know everyone in the entire camp, there are always people who are closer to you than others. And I was close to those two."

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    Istra, 01.09.2012

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Saved by a cousin

Malinarić Viktor
Malinarić Viktor
zdroj: Archiv - Pamět národa

Viktor Malinarić was born on 3rd of September 1923 in Fiškulini near Poreč. He grew up in a peasant family and remembers well his childhood in fascist Italy where children were being re-educated with various methods from an early age. As a shepherd, he soon encountered resistance activists and when Italy surrendered, he joined partisan units who entered Poreč. After retreating to Gorski kotar, he went to Slovenia with partisans where he got caught and was imprisoned. As a result of a gunshot wound, he lost a leg. At first he was in Karlovac but then was transferred to Ustaše‘s prison hospital in Zagreb which was located at today‘s bus terminal. He still remembers wounded prisoners being taken away without ever coming back and night visits by Ustaše guards. His story with a happy ending depicts the tragic reality of an Istrian man of the first half of 20th century. He was saved by his cousin whom he has never met before. The man was an Istrian refugee from fascism who became an officer in Home Guards army. Before fleeing to partisan army, he sold everything he owned in order to bribe hospital manager to transfer Viktor from hospital to prison where he saw the end of war. Usually, the only way from hospital led to Jasenovac camp. After the war, as an invalid of war, Viktor became a photographer and moved to Poreč where he received his pension as the city’s first post-war photographer.