From 1941 to 1945, the Independent State of Croatia (NDH) was ruled by the Ustasha, but actually the NDH was ruled by Germans and Italians. The Ustasha organization tried to control everything in the country: It restricted human and civil rights, enacted racial laws, introduced dictatorships, opened camps and shot political opponents.
The camps originally served as detention centers and later evolved into places of imprisonment. Mass terror against the unfit population: Jews, Roma, Serbs and Croats who were considered political opponents (partisans and some politicians). In Koprivnica in 1941. the first camp, Danica, was established. Later, other camps were established in Stara Gradiška, Gospić, Pag, and the largest concentration camp was Jasenovac. The prisoners of Jasenovac were forced to do hard physical labor, and many people were executed. It is certain that the number of victims is in the tens of thousands, but some estimates put the number as high as 100,000. The area of the camp complex was about 200 km², and the camp was in operation until 1945.
In addition to the Ustasha, the camps in the NDH were also built by Germans and Italians. Of the 20 or so Italian camps, the largest was Kampor on the island of Rab. Italians imprisoned partisans and the domicile population. Many Slovenes and Jews were detained in Kampor, and estimate number of deaths varies from 1500 to more than 4000 people.
The camps and places of suffering were not only on islands and in smaller urban environments. A large number of people were killed in the Zagreb area. On the site of today's Student Center there was a camp to which between 2000 and 3000 Jews, anti-fascists and Serbs were brought, and from there they were transported to other camps in the country. More than 7000 people were shot in the area of today's Dotrščina Park. In 1867, a synagogue was built on Praška Street in Zagreb, which was demolished in 1941 when the Ustasha took power.
Today, in these places marked by suffering,there are memorial centers, memorial parks and various monuments commemorating the victims of the war.