Sunday, June 14, 2015

Holocaust survivor sheds light on little-known concentration camp [JASENOVAC] / "Your Houston News" June 11, 2015

Your Houston News
Melanie Feuk
June 11, 2015

Humble [Texas] resident, Alexander Pollak, has made it his mission to bring the atrocities at the concentration camp, Jasenovac, to light.

Alexander Pollak (center) poses with his team of supporters at the Humble Rotary luncheon June 10, 2015.
Pollak’s father, along with countless others, perished at Jasenovac.
Jasenovac is a name that is not as widely recognized, but is among one of the worst World War II concentration camps. Located in Croatia, Jasenovac’s existence remains under the radar because its records were intentionally destroyed.
Pollak had the chance to share his mission during the Humble Rotary luncheon June 10 [2015].

Pollak’s friend, Michelle Lee, has been helping him in his efforts. Like most others, Lee had never heard of Jasenovac.

“I started doing research on Jasenovac and learning how horrific it was,” Lee said. “Even Hitler himself said that he was disgusted by what they did at Jasenovac. What Hitler did was horrific enough. He wanted to get rid of the Jews and those “beneath” him. But he wanted to do it quickly – just get them out of the way. The Ustaše – some call them the Croatian Nazis – they wanted them to feel pain; to feel the torture. It wasn’t just men; it was women and children. They were brutal.

“This was like the dark secret of the Holocaust. They burned all documentation, so there is no way to know how many people died there. Researchers estimate anywhere from 250,000 to 1.4 million people perished, but they just can’t find enough information to get a clear number.”

Pollak’s mission is spurred by a desire to honor Jasenovac’s victims; but also by his determination to expose the parallels between the situations leading up to the Holocaust and events occurring now.

“This story is repeating itself today, which is the tragedy of it all,” Pollak said. “Jasenovac was a blueprint for Auschwitz, and it is a blueprint for ISIS. The atrocities occurring in Lybia, in Iraq are identical to what happened. I witnessed it.

“That is why we are here. It is a warning: these things happen slowly and then suddenly, like a tsunami. I was seven years old, and I remember the warning sign was that we would gather in the square on Sundays and we all had to wear tags that said ‘Jew.’ I mean, I don’t understand how nobody was aware of what was coming. I personally cannot ignore this; I can see the signs.”

Among his many awareness building initiatives, Pollak and his team have secured two sites for future remembrance gardens as memorials for those who suffered in the Jasenovac concentration camp.

The first garden will be located at King’s Harbor in Kingwood; development plans are underway. The second garden’s location will be at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church in Cypress.

Alexander Pollak is on a mission to spread awareness about the
Jasenovac concentration camp.
Features of the Jasenovac concentration camp will play heavily
into the remembrance garden’s design.
If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra,
please feel free to contact me at

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