Ustasha Surveillance Service and the Directorate for Public Order and Security
- Published: 27 July 2011 27 July 2011
- Last Updated: 07 April 2012 07 April 2012
by H.L. deZeng IV
The following describes the secret police apparatus (UNS) of the Independent State of Croatia (NDH) from its inception on 10 April 1941 through several reorganizations until it was renamed RAVSIGUR on 21 January 1943. Details are not provided past that date to the end of the war because while the designations of some of the departments and branches may have changed their function did not. The UNS and later RAVSIGUR were the direct counterparts of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA – State Main Security Office) and the Sicherheitspolizei (Sipo – Security Police) in Nazi Germany.
The chief of the UNS acted under the direct supervision of Poglavnik Ante Pavelić and took his orders from no one else. He exercised his authority downward through a complex chain of command involving five (later four) principal sections that were established along functional lines. The staff of the UNS was appointed either directly by Ante Pavelić or by the chief of the UNS. The chiefs of the UNS and their personal adjutants were:
Eugen “Dido” Kvaternik (? Aug 1941 - ? Oct 1942)
Drago Jilek (? Oct 1942 - ? Dec 1942)
Dr. Filip Crvenković (? Dec 1942 - 21 Jan 1943)
Office of the Chief Adjutant
The chief adjutant was responsible for supervising all of the staff elements of headquarters, UNS.
This branch handled the UNS’s personnel, disciplinary, punishment and supervisory affairs. The chief adjutant of the UNS was in charge of the branch, but the immediate supervisors were Dr. Boris Bucovski followed by Vladimir Iličić. There were two sub-branches subordinated to the Personnel Branch: the Typing Pool with 10- 12 typists, and the Records and Archives where some 30 employees worked.
Intendant (Supply) Branch
This branch was responsible for the handling of supplies and the management of property for the UNS. The chief of the branch was Vladimir Šarić.
Political Administrative Branch
All of the responsibilities that were originally intended for this branch were in practice handled by other branches. There was no branch chief.
This branch was responsible for all financial and accounting duties for the UNS. The first chief of this branch was Marko Bebek, and he was followed by Dragutin Jug.
Censorship, cryptography and the communications station (center) were under this branch until the beginning 0f January 1943, at which time they were turned over to the newly formed Branch VI. The chiefs were: Božidar Vitković followed by Ivan Masten. The Technical Branch had a total of about 65 employees.
This branch was formed at the beginning of January 1943 from the censorship, cryptography and communications center sub-branches formerly under the Technical Branch. The chief was: Djuro Župan. branch chief
Office of the Inspector General
This office was established on 8 April 1942 and had the following functions: (1) exercise control over the sections and personnel of the UNS through the inspection process; (2) exercise control over the sections and personnel of the police assigned to each District (Velika Župa) and the various city police forces; and, (3) exercise control over the sections and personnel of the police assigned at the levels below the Districts.
The inspector general was Ivan Herenčić.
SECTION I - SECURITY POLICE
This section was originally called the Ustasha Police for a short time, but it was soon re-designated the Security Police. This was the Ustasha equivalent of the German Sicherheitspolizei (Sipo), which was part of the SS establishment and included the Gestapo. The Security Police (Zaštitno Redarstvo) was the political police of the NDH. It was formally established on 14 August 1941 and underwent a number of organizational changes in accordance with official decrees (zakonska odredba) dated 16 August 1941, 19 November 1941, 13 March 1942 and 30 April 1942. The chiefs of Section I were: Mirko Vutuč, chief from inception to Feb. 1942, Dr. Tomo Vukosav, chief from Feb. 1942 to May 1942, and Vjekoslav Paver, chief from May 1942 to 21 January 1943.
Officially formed in August 1941.
Department for Public Security
Also officially established in August 1941, this department had three branches: Branch Odsjek) II a, Branch II b and Branch II c. Its responsibility was to investigate persons believed to be politically objectionable and dangerous to the state, and to determine which of these persons were to be forcibly interned in the concentration and labor camps of the NDH. All activity of this department was closely coordinated with Sections II and III of the UNS. The heads of this department in order were: Aleksandar Benak, Vjekoslav Pavel, and Miroslav Fulanović.
Department for Communism
Established in March 1942 as a special department charged with employing all preventative and repressive means against the resistance operations of the KPJ, SKOJ and NOP. The activities of this department were closely coordinated with Department IV of Section II of the UNS. The head of this department was Aleksandar Benak.
Central Desk for Assumption of Authority in District Zones
Officially established in April 1942. Little is known about this office, but it apparently was concerned with the insertion of NDH authority into areas liberated from the Partisans. Its chief was Miroslav Fulanović.
Typing Pool Section I.
Provision was made for this in the official decree, but it appears that it never actually came into existence.
Security Police for the City of Zagreb and Velika Župa Prigorje
Formally established in accordance with the official decrees of 14 August 1941 and 16 August 1941, and then reorganized and substantially expanded in January 1942. The security police consisted mostly of Ustasha returnees who had been with Pavelić in Italy, professional police who had been in police service before the war, Croatian fascists (Croatian National Socialist Party of Labor) and Croatian university students. The headquarters and offices of the security police in Zagreb were at Trg Kulina Bana No.10 (today Trg Žrtava Fasižma br. 10). The directors of the Security Police for the City of Zagreb and Velika Župa Prigorje was Jučo Rukavina from inception to 21 January 1943, with brief interruption 2 September 1942 to 24 November 1942, and Dragutin Gregorić from 2 September 1942 to 24 November 1942.
The department was responsible for all personnel matters for active duty members and officials of the security police for the city of Zagreb and the Velika Župa Prigorje, and the forwarding of all particulars to the Personnel Department of Headquarters, Section I of the UNS. It was also responsible for preparing performance evaluations, manpower estimates, police correspondence and personnel paperwork concerning detainees and prisoners. There were four branches under the personnel department, as noted below. In charge of the personnel department were: Superintendent Ante Petrovčić, to January 1942, and Dr. Zvonimir Petruščak, January 1942 to January 1943.
I a - Administrative Branch
I b - Personnel Branch
I c – Records Branch
I d – Political Research Branch
This branch consisted of three card file systems formed at the beginning of 1942 from previously compiled card files. Simultaneously, a large number of employees from these institutions were used to form the cadre for the newly established political research branch, which was organized as follows: (1) General Card File, which was a registry for all residences and buildings; (2) Political Card File, which was a registry of all politically suspected individuals and enemies of the NDH; and, (3) Hotel or Traveler’s Card File, which was a registry on all individuals arriving or departing Zagreb, regardless of whether they stayed in a hotel or in a private dwelling. The following Superintendents were in charge of Political Research branch at one time or another: Nikola Vlahutin, Vladimir Šelebaj and Ivan Memed.
Branch for Serbian Matters
This branch was responsible for carrying out all measures against the Serbian people, including arrest, interrogation and confinement in camps. In charge of the branch was Superintendent Dr. Djuro Ivković. The branch was abolished at the time of the reorganization in January 1942 and its functions absorbed by the newly formed Political Department (see below).
Branch for Communism
This branch was responsible for carrying out all measures against members of the KPJ and NOP, including arrest, interrogation and confinement in camps. In charge of the branch was Superintendent Milan Žagar. The branch was abolished at the time of the reorganization in January 1942 and its functions absorbed by the newly formed Political Department (see below).
Branch for Jewish Matters
This branch was responsible for carrying out all measures against Jews, including arrest, interrogation, deportation and confinement in concentration camps. In charge of the branch was Superintendent Dragutin Sirovatka. The branch was abolished at the time of the reorganization in January 1942 and its functions absorbed by the newly formed Political Department (see below).
II - Political Department
Through its branches (Communism and General-Political), this department directed the struggle against the KPJ (Communist Party of Yugoslavia) and NOP (National Liberation Party), as well as against individuals who were determined or suspected to be against the NDH or the Germans and Italians. The heads of this department were: Frane Lučić, to September 1942, and Branko Rukavina, September 1942 to the end of 1942.
II a – Branch for Communist Matters
As noted above, the task of this branch was to carry out the struggle against Communism, and the NOP in general. This branch also gathered intelligence data on Communists and Communist organizations. The heads of this branch were: Superintendent Tibor Vaško, inception to the end of 1942, and Nikola Bogojevski, end of 1942 to January 1943.
II b - General-Political Branch
This branch handled all political matters which did not relate to the KPJ and NOP. In charge of this branch were: Stipe Vidaković, Jure Granić, and Fabijan Fabrio.
III - SecurityCordon Tuškanač Department
This department had responsibility for control over all citizens of Zagreb who resided in that section of the city known as Tuškanač. This provision was necessary because the highest officials of the NDH, and those of the Third Reich who were located in Zagreb, resided there. All those entering or leaving Tuškanač had to pass through various checkpoints. The most difficult aspect of this responsibility was in achieving the cooperation of Section IV of the UNS (Security Service). After the UNS Security Police was disbanded in January 1943, Department III (Security Cordon Tuškanač) was incorporated into the Security Service (i.e., as part of the PTS). In charge of Department III was Superintendent Vladimir Šelebaj.
IV - Investigations Department
This department was responsible for investigations and racial purification measures, and its duties included carrying out raids, providing security, conducting stakeouts, furnishing escorts (sprovode), etc. The head of the department was the chief investigator, and under him were several hundred detectives. The heads of the department were: Superintendent Milan Vrkljan, chief to January 1942, Stipe Vidaković, and Tomislav Graberač.
V - Intelligence Branch
This branch was formed during the first half of March 1942. Initially it was located at Trg Kulina Bana No. 10, but it subsequently moved to Ulica Račkoga No. 8/II, where it was given a cover as a private firm, “Horvat Engineering Co.”. An office was also maintained at Gajevo No. 4 for investigator Ljudevit Medjureč, who was involved in special intelligence operations against the KPJ and NOP. The principal tasks of this branch were to establish intelligence nets and to collect intelligence data on the KPJ and NOP. The branch also maintained a card file identifying all individuals proven to be or suspected of being against the NDH and its Italian and German allies. Although the branch was part of the security police, its intelligence product went directly to Section II of the UNS, and after the UNS was disbanded in January 1943, to Branch B II of GLAVSIGUR. In charge of this branch were: Superintendent Tomislav Graberač, Superintendent Josip Knez, Superintendent Tomo Gračan, and Superintendent Mate Perković.
VI – Intendant (Supply) Branch
Responsible for all supply and payroll matters for the Zagreb-Prigorje security police. In charge of the branch were: Superintendent Stjepan Vahtarić (or Fahtarić) and Superintendent Josip Horvat.
VII - Administrative Detention
Two prisons were used by the Zagreb-Prigorje security police: one at Savska cesta No. 60 and the other was co-located with the administrative offices of the security police at Trg Kulina Bana No. 10. In charge were: Dr. Vatroslav Majčetić, warden at Savska cesta, Stanko Rubin, warden at Savska cesta, and Antun Žbirinić, warden at Trg Kulina Bana.
VIII - Medical Branch
Responsible for dispensary-level medical support to the security police staff, and for sanitary conditions in the prisons. In charge was Superintendent Dr. (MD) Ignačije Trgovač.
Security Police for the City of Sarajevo and Velika Župa Vrhbosna
This office of the security police was officially established on 14 June 1942. It was disbanded on 10 February 1943 when it became a component of the Provincial Police - District Sarajevo. Organizationally, it had a Personnel Branch, a Political Branch, an Intendant (Supply) Branch, a Detective Corps, and an Administrative Detention Branch. The directors were: Dragutin Gregorić, inception to 2 September 1942, Jučo Rukavina, 2 September 1942 to 24 November 1942, amd Zlatko Šavor, 24 November 1942 to 10 February 1943.
Security Police for the City of Banja Luka and Velika Župa Sana i Luka
This office of the security police was officially established on 15 June 1942. It was disbanded on 10 February 1943 when it became a component of the Provincial Police - District Banja Luka. It had an organizational structure identical to that of the Security Police for the City of Sarajevo. The directors were: Frane Miletić, inception to the end of 1942, and Božo Filjetić, end of 1942 to February 1943.
SECTION II - INTELLIGENCE SERVICE
Section II was the intelligence and counterintelligence service of the NDH. Vladimir Singer, the first director of Section II, began putting the intelligence service together in July 1941, but it was not officially formed until the official decrees were issued on 14 and 16 August 1941. Its efforts were directed against the political enemies of the NDH and its allies, both inside and outside of the country. It was the largest and most important component of the UNS. The directors (upravitelj) of Section II were: Vladimir Singer, first director of Section II (subsequently arrested by Dido Kvaternik for complicity in the 14 September 1941 sabotage of the central telephone exchange at the Zagreb post office, interned in Jasenovac concentration camp and later killed), Ivan Šaban, from late summer 1941, Viktor Tomić, also late summer 1941, but it is not known whether he preceded or followed Šaban, and Herman Togonal (called “Krešo”).
Not officially established until 26 June 1942, Department I was responsible for collecting all relevant intelligence data on Italian activity in the NDH, including the activity of the Italian 2d Army in Croatia, the penetration of Italian intelligence and counterintelligence networks in the NDH, interrogation of Croatians who had or were residing in Italy, the opening and reading of private mail between individuals in Croatia and Italy, the monitoring of Italian publications and radio broadcasts, and any other intelligence activities concerning Italy that might be of interest and use to the NDH. The department was large and included a number of specialty desks for various intelligence subjects or projects. The department was located at Bogovićevoj uliči No. 4/VI. The heads of the department in order of appointment were: Ozren Kvaternik and Ante Rebač.
Responsible for all intelligence activity directed against Allied intelligence services, international Freemasonry, the HSS (i.e., Croatian Peasant Party) and Croatian emigrants in general. Offices were located at Šuflajevoj uliči No. 18. The head of the department was Zvonimir Kojadin.
Responsible for all intelligence activity directed against the Serbian people in the NDH and those residing outside of Yugoslavia, but especially against the Chetniks. About 20 people worked in this department, and its offices were located at Jurišićevoj uliči No.2 a/I. The department head was Stjepan Damić.
Formed 20 April 1942, this department was responsible for all intelligence activity directed against the KPJ, SKOJ, NOP and other Communist organizations. This was the largest department in Section II and had the most agents. The office staff alone consisted of over 100 employees. Department IV operated its own prison, nicknamed “Sing-Sing”, and it was here that some of the most hideous atrocities of the war took place as the Ustasha interrogators attempted to extract information from captured Partisans and other Party members. The department’s offices (and apparently the prison) were located at Ksaverskoj. česti No. 74. The heads of the department in order of appointment were: Drago Jilek and Franjo Udović.
Responsible for all intelligence activity directed against Moslems in the NDH, Turkey, the Near East and other places around the world. The department’s offices were at Fonovoj uliči No. 4, and in charge was: Leo Togonal.
Responsible for all intelligence activity directed against Jews, half-Jews (i.e., resulting from a marriage to a Jew) and other combinations with Jews proscribed by law. (The head of this department is not available.).
Responsible for all intelligence activity directed against suspect individuals in the Ustasha Party, the Ustasha Women’s Auxiliary, the Ustasha youth organizations and other civilian components of the Ustasha Party. (The head of this department is not available.)
Responsible for all intelligence activity directed against state enemies, and those suspected of being against the state, who were employees of the NDH state apparatus, especially those working for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of the Interior, RAVSIGUR, the Ministry of Justice and Religion, the Finance Ministry, the Ministry for the National Economy, the Ministry of Trades and the Ministry ofTransportation. Department offices were at Suflajevoj uliči No. 7/I, and its head was Viktor Ile.
Responsible for all intelligence activity directed against individuals calling for or advocating liberation of the NDH, particularly those from the professional classes (i.e., attorneys, professors, etc.). (The head of this department is not available.)
Responsible for all intelligence activity directed against German nationals residing in the NDH, the Croatian Volksdeutsche group, the German intelligence services operating in the NDH, the Croatian National Socialist Party and Croatian emigrants living in Germany. Other particulars concerning this department are not known.
Responsible for all intelligence activity directed against Hungarians in the NDH, the Hungarian intelligence services and Croatian emigrants living in Hungary. Other particulars concerning this department are not known.
Responsible for all intelligence activity directed against Slovenes in the NDH and Slovenes in general. Other particulars concerning this department are not known.
Responsible for all intelligence activity directed against enemies advocating a split in the close relationship between the Croatian state and the Roman Catholic Church and clergy. The department also kept close watch on the Church and clergy in Croatia. Other particulars concerning this department are not known.
Responsible for all intelligence monitoring of the press, radio and other information media. Other particulars concerning this department are not known.
Responsible for all intelligence activity directed against other enemies and suspect individuals not included within the functional categories covered by the other departments. The department’s offices were located at Iliči No. 139 a/IV. The head of the department was Stjepan Bušić.
These were the territorial intelligence gathering offices of Section II, of which a total of 22 were planned - one for each Velika Župa, but in practice only a total of nine were formed. Each commission had a leader (voditelj) and a small office staff, and was responsible for establishing intelligence networks within its respective territory. The commissions only existed from the time of the official creation of the UNS in August 1941 until approximately mid-1942. The nine Commissions were located in Varaždin, Sarajevo, Banja Luka, Tuzla, Bihać, Zemun, Osijek, Karlovac and Gospić.
Established by Ustasha returnee (povratnik) Mijo Babić, acting on direct orders from Pavelić, specifically for the purpose of setting up concentration camps in Croatia to be used for killing Serbs, Jews and Gypsies (this is the possibly over-stated opinion of author Dušan Lazić). The Zagreb office of Section III was initially located at Zvonimirovoj uliči No. 2, and later at Opatičkoj No. 1.
At first, the Section III office was very small, consisting of only Mijo Babić and his secretary, N. Kezić. Local Ustasha units were used to guard the camps. All work was carried out by Babić and his immediate superior, Dido Kvaternik, acting under the direction of Pavelić. Immediately after Babić was killed on 3 July 1941 in Hercegovina, Vjekoslav “Maks” Luburić took over Section III responsibilities, but in October he left for Germany where he spent 10 days as a guest of the Gestapo in Berlin learning all that he needed to reorganize the system of concentration camps in the NDH, which he immediately began to carry out on his return from Germany. The reorganized system was based on two large camps at Jasenovac and Stara Gradiška, while all Serbs were to be placed in a special camp at Gornja Rijeka (near Novi Marof, to the southwest of Varaždin). At the same time as he set about reorganizing the camp system, Luburić formed a special Ustasha unit called the Ustasha Obrana, which was to be responsible for camp security and the liquidation of inmates. It is important to emphasize here that the sole authority in the Independent State of Croatia for authorizing liquidations was the director of UNS Section III.
From these early beginnings, Section III rapidly expanded during the course of the second half of 1941. The personnel composition of Section III by early September 1941 consisted of “Maks” Luburić, Ljubomir Miloš, N. Kezić (secretary), Daniča Herceg (clerk) and Nada Tomas (clerk). An intendant or supply branch was formed toward the end of the year, with Ustasha Poručnik Alojz Skočibušić as chief, and this had as its principal task the procurement of food for all camp staff and inmates. Luburić had Skočibušić killed in February or March 1943 for reasons of corruption, and his successor as head of the Intendant Branch was Bojnik Iviča Brkljačić.
When the UNS was disbanded at the end of January 1943, Luburić’s Section III was taken into GLAVSIGUR and its General-Administrative Department became Branch III of GLAVSIGUR, and from January 1945 as the independent Branch B IV of GLAVSIGUR. At peak, which was toward the end of the war, about 35 people worked in Section III (later B IV), mostly administrative and technical staff. The directors of Section III were: Mijo Babić, April 1941 to 3 July 1941, Vjekoslav “Maks” Luburić, July 1941 to September 1942, Iviča Matković, September 1942 to early 1943, Stanko Šarić, early 1943 to the end of 1943, Jakob Dzal, end of 1943 to May 1945.
UNS Section III Camps
The following camps were set up by Section III on the direct orders of Pavelić and Luburić.
Slano (on Pag Island)
Established April/May 1941 by Mijo Babić, and closed in September 1941. The administration and guard was provided by the XIII Ustasha Battalion commanded by Bojnik Ivan Devčić as follows: 1st Company (Satnija) as camp guard; 2d and 3d Companies as security for Ostarije, where liquidations took place; and 4th Company as security of Karlobag, which served as the mainland link to the camp. Devčić was also the camp commander.
Jadovno (near Velebit)
Established April/May 1941 by Jučo Rukavina, assisted by Juriča Franković, an official of the local Velika Župa. The camp was closed in September 1941. The camp commander was Stjepan Rubinić, director of the Župa police for the District of Gospić, followed by Satnik Dragutin Pudić Paraliza. The camp guard was furnished by the Lika Half-Battalion (Polubojna) consisting of the XVII Ustasha Company under Satnik Mihajlo Prpić and the XXIII Ustasha Company under Satnik Drago Gesparević. Prisoners were not liquidated here, but taken to Pag Island where they were disposed of by “Maks” Luburić and 11 or so other prominent Ustasha leaders.
Kruščica (near Travnik)
Established April/May 1941 by “Maks” Luburić. Luburić was the first commander, followed by Bojnik Mato Mandušić. The camp guard was provided by elements of the XVII Ustasha Company.
All remaining prisoners in these camps were transferred to Jasenovac beginning in September 1941 because the Italians took over control of the area where they were located.
Jasenovac and Stara Gradiška
The initial guard force for these camps was provided by the XIV Ustasha Company (Ust. Nadporučnik Dagen), which had come from Pakrac and Lipik, the XVII Ustasha Company (Satnik Mihovil Prpić) and the XXII and XXIII Ustasha Companies.
The first centralized command for concentration camps was established at Jasenovac at the end of 1941 as Headquarters Concentration Camps (Zapovjedničtva Sabirnih Logora), and functional departments and branches were developed under it to administer the camp system. The Jasenovac and Stara Gradiška camps quickly grew into large multi-camp complexes that were run by “Maks” Luburić’s Obrana organization, these continuing to the end of the war.
Additional information concerning Section III and the various organizations that were affiliated with it (Obrana Command, Headquarters Concentration Camps, I Ustasha Defense Brigade, etc.) can be found in the appropriate sections under Croatia > Ustasha.
SECTION IV - PERSONNEL SECTION
As originally provided for in the official decree of 14 August 1941, Section IV was to provide personnel services (i.e., recruiting, interviewing, political evaluation, processing, etc.) for individuals seeking employment with the state. The section was disbanded in accordance with an official decree dated 13 March 1942. The directors of Section IV were: Ante Štitić, first director, and Božidar Krainz, second director.
SECTION V - SECURITY SERVICE
This section was not established as a result of the official decree (zakonska odredba) concerning the UNS of 14 August 1941, nor the official decree concerning the UNS of 16 August 1941, but a little later in accordance with an official decree dated 19 November 1941 (CCLXVII-1192-Z-1941, published in Narodne novine No.183, dated 20 November 1941). After 13 March 1942, respectively after the abolishing of the Personnel Section of the UNS, this section was re-designated Section IV, and remained as such until the disbanding of the UNS in January 1943. Unlike the other sections of the UNS which went
to the RAVSIGUR when the UNS was disbanded, this section was incorporated into the PTS (Poglavnikov tjelesna sdrug) and was treated as part of the Headquarters of the PTS. All of the UNS personnel previously with Sections I, II and III went to the RAVSIGUR, while the personnel previously with Section IV went to the PTS. Section V (later IV) eventually had 100 agents who acted independently of all other secret police authorities in carrying out arrests, conducting savage interrogations, conducting random roundups on the streets, etc. The Section’s principal function, however, was to serve as a personal security force for Poglavnik Ante Pavelić. To this end it also had a motorized section called the Escort (pratnja) that accompanied Pavelić wherever he went. Ust. Satnik Viktor Tomić was the director of this section.
As frequently noted above, on 21 January 1943 the UNS was removed from the authority of the Ustasha, renamed RAVSIGUR, and placed under the Ministry of the Interior. It continued to the end of the war under its new name.