Letter from Gen.

Alesandro Luzano to Mussolini
Duce! My immeasurable devotion towards You gives me, I hope, the right to, sometimes, bypass strict military protocol. That is why I feel free and obliged to promptly describe you one event which, three weeks ago, I have personally witnessed. Patrolling in towns Stolac, Capljina and Lubinye (about 60 to 130km north of Ragusa i.e Dubrovnik) I heard from our intelligence officers that Pavelich’s army- ustashas have in the previous day done some crime in village Prebilovci, and that, when they hear about it, nearby Serbs are certainly going to be upset yet again. I miss words to describe what I found there. In big classroom, I found slaughtered teacher and 120 young pupils! No child was older than 12 years! Crime is not an appropriate, it is too innocent a word - that was above any madness! Many have their severed heads put orderly on school desks. From their severed bellies bowels were, like New Year's tinsels, spread across the classroom and nailed to the roof! The flies and unbearable smell did not allow us to spend more time there. I have noticed an opened bag of salt in the corner and I was stunned to realize that they have slauthered them slowly, salting their necks first! As we were just about to depart, from the back of the classroom we have heard a child rattling. I have sent two soldiers to see what it was. They found one pupil, still alive, breathing with throat half cut! I took the poor child in my own car to our military hospital, and there we were able to awake him and from him we found out the full truth about the tragedy. The criminals have first, taking turns, raped the Serbian teacher (her name was Stana Arnautovich) and then, in front of the children, they have slaughtered her. They raped even the eight-year-old girls. During all that time, a Gypsy band brought there was forced to play music and hit tambourines! To the utter disgrace of our, Roman church, one priest participated in all this! The boy that we saved recovered quickly. And as soon as the wound healed, he was able to run away from the hospital because of our inattention, and he run back to his village looking for his relatives. We send a patrol for him, but to no avail: they find him in front of his house, slaughtered! From more than a thousand souls in the village there is no-one left! The same day (that we discovered later) when the crime in school was perpetrated, ustashe rounded 700 inhabitants of village Prebilovci and drop them into foiba, or killed them in the most bestial way on the road to the pit. Only 300 men saved themself: they were able to break ustashi lines and to run to the mountains! These 300 survivors are stronger than the most elite Pavelich’s ustashe division. All that they have to lose, they lost! Children, wifes, mothers, sisters, houses, possessions. They are free even from the fear of death. The only meaning of their lives is in revenge, in the horrible revenge - they are, in a way, even ashamed that they have survived! And villages, such as Prebilovci, are all around Herzegovina, Bosnia, Lika and Dalmazia. Slaughter of Serbs has reached such proportions, that, in these areas, even water resources are polluted. From one spring in Popovo Polye, near the pit in which 4000 Serbs were thrown, a reddish water ran, I have seen it myself! On conscience of Italy and our culture a dark stain will fall forever if we do not distance ourselves from ustashe and their demented crimes.

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