The total number of Serbian casualties in the Second World War is not known. It is estimated that the number may even be 1,800,000 killed. The greatest number of them died in Croatia of that period, as the state conducted a systematic genocide. A great number of victims did not even have a dignified Christian burial, but ended up in mass graves.
Mass graves of the Second World War became a horrifying testimony of the scope of the Serbian suffering. Apart from several dozens camps meant for planned destruction of Serbs, not yet known, but a great number was also killed out the camps, at various killing sites – and threw into pits.
Horrific images of living and dead people being thrown into dark abysses were made timeless by a poet Ivan Goran Kovačić in his poem The Pit.
The greatest number of such pits was found in the area of Bosanska Krajina (the Bosnian Frontier), where more than 70,000 people were killed on the very doorstep of their homes. Others were founds in Lika, Banija and Kordun, and in Slavonia. There were mass graves in Herzegovina and middle Bosnia, actually, all over the state of Croatia of that time.
One of the symbols of mass killing of innocent victims is a village of Prebilovci in southern Herzegovina. Here, in August 1941, almost all the village population was killed. Several hundred bodies, including mothers with their children, were pushed in a nearby pit.
In the early 1990, the Serbs started the exhumation of their in order to properly commemorate the victims. Some years later, in the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the village was totally devastated.