The Deaths of War Heroes Mario Huis and Zlatko Klasić – The First Croatian Defence Forces Members died near Jasenovac

On 5 October 1991, Homeland War heroes Mario Huis and Zlatko Klasić became the first fatalities of the Croatian Defence Forces (CDF) when they were killed in the village of Košutarica near Jasenovac.

Mario Huis

Mario Huis was born on 4 February 1962 in Belišće, the youngest of four children born to Mirko and Jelica Huis. He attended primary school in Zagreb where later graduated from the mechanical engineering secondary school. As a machinist, Huis was employed with “Monting” Company and earned a living working abroad as well. After he returned from working in Spain, Huis’ brother arranged papers for him to go to Germany but this was not an option as war broke out in Croatia and he planned to marry a woman he met at the local church. Huis quickly volunteered to join the CDF and was assigned to the western Slavonian front where he was killed. After receiving news of her son’s death, Jelica Huis fell seriously ill with Parkinson’s disease and died in 2005 without having buried her son.

Zlatko Klasić

Zlatko Klasić was born on 15 June 1952 in Zagreb to parents Stanko and Ljubica and grew up in his hometown with his younger sister Spomenka. They remember him as a cheerful, sociable and very diligent person. Klasić and his wife Gordana were parents to a son Domagoj born in 1980. Klasić was employed in a private bookbindery. When the Homeland War began, he also volunteered for the CDF and went to western Slavonia where he laid his life on the altar of the Homeland.

The remains of Mario Huis and Zlatko Klasić are still on the territory that was occupied by rebel Serbs during the Homeland War and have not been found to this day. The first to fall were members of the “Ante Paradžik” 1st Company of the CDF and their names are included among those on the Monument to Fallen Veterans in their native Kustošija district in Zagreb as well as the memorial plaque originally placed in Jasenovac in 2017 and then moved to a location on the Novska – Lipik road near Motel Trokut.

Sources
Literature
Turić, Gordana. U viteza krunica (knjiga I). Zagreb: Udruga roditelja poginulih branitelja Domovinskog rata grada Zagreba, 2008
Turić, Gordana. U viteza krunica (knjiga III). Zagreb: Udruga roditelja poginulih branitelja Domovinskog rata grada Zagreba, 2008

Periodicals
Rašović, Renata. “Tko su ratnici s HOS-ove ploče”. Večernji list (Zagreb), September 3, 2017, 12.

Internet
Renata Rašović: “‘Dosta je prepucavanja politike preko leđa naših poginulih. To je sramota’”, Večernji.hr, access achieved September 24, 2020, https://www.vecernji.hr/premium/dosta-je-prepucavanja-politike-preko-le-a-nasih-poginulih-to-je-sramota-1192139

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