I was an inquisitive young boy, not very tall, so I had to climb a fence to be able to see over the crowds of people. Good Friday, April 11, 1941, dawned bathed in spring sunshine, with tricolor flags fluttering in the breeze from the roofs, windows, and balconies. The sleet that had fallen on the streets of Karlovac the day before had melted overnight. From the Kupa Bridge toward Selce, rows and rows of residents stretched on either side of Banija Street to welcome the German army as it entered the city. Children were waving small paper flags, while from the ranks of people a jubilant refrain sounded: “No war and we have a state!”
The first tank of the German advance unit stopped at the corner of Banija and Kolodvorska streets in front of an improvised stage. Next to the stage, the brass band of the local fire brigade blared military marches and red-faced speakers recited welcoming speeches. I couldn’t hear them–the loudspeakers were not very good–but from my elevated position on the fence, with my friends Tonček and Strzalkowski and Bogdan Lasic, I had a good view and could see everything. Our curiosity was satisfied and we were happy not to be submerged in the multitude, whose joy we did not share that day.