Serb Killer – Srbosjek, one of the most hideous implements ever invented
The “Srbosjek”, or literally meaning ”Serb cutter” in Serbian and Croatian was a specially designed knife used by the Croatian Ustaše during World War II for the speedy killing of prisoners in the concentration camps of the Nazi-puppet Independent State of Croatia (NDH).
Most notably at the Jasenovac concentration camp the Croatians preferred to eliminate the inmates by cutting their throats rather than gassing them. Serbs, Jews, and Roma alike were dispatched in this way and in order to do so efficiently they needed a special tool.
The knife was manufactured during World War II by German factory Gebrüder Gräfrath from Solingen-Widderit under a special order from the Croatian NDH government.
The upper part of the srbosjek was made of leather, as a sort of a glove, designed to be worn with the thumb going through the hole, so that only the blade protruded from the hand. It was a curved, 12 cm long knife with the edge on its concave side. The knife was fastened to a bowed oval copper plate, while the plate was fastened to a thick leather bangle. The blade was curved in order to make it easier to slit the throat of the victim, following the curvature of the neck. Thus, the Srbosjek knife was designed to kill as fast as possible and with as little fatigue as possible.
In Jasenovac competitions in speedy slaughter were organized by the Croatian Ustaše guards. The winner of one such competition was Petar Brzica who slit the throats of 1,360 prisoners.