Diana Budisavljevic posthumously awarded with high church dinstinction
His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch, on behalf of Holy Synod of Bishops, awarded posthumously Diana Budisavljevic with the high dinstinction of the Serbian Orthodox Church - the order of Empress Milica. Diana Budisavljevic saved 12000 Serbian children from Jasenovac and other death camps during the World War Two in the Independent State of Croatia.
Serbian Patriarch handed over the order to Diana's great-grandson Mr. Leonard Rasica in the presence of all members of the Holy Synod of Bishops, Their Graces Bishops: Vasilije of Srem, Hrizostom of Zvornik-Tuzla, Jovan of Sumadija, Teodosije of Raska-Prizren, as well as His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral, who recommended that Diana Budisavljevic to be awarded. The solemn award ceremony was attended also by Bishops Andrej of Remesiana and Jovan of Ulpiana, as well as protopresbyter-stavrophor Savo Jovic, the chief secretary of the Holy Synod of Bishops.
Thanks to Diana Budisavljevic, 12000 Serbian children was saved from certain death from death camps in the Indenpendent State of Croatia (NDH).
The history recorded that Austrian-born Diana Budisavljevic (born Obexer), married to the Serb Julije Budisavljevic, professor of the Faculty of Medicine in Zagreb, organized herself a great action of saving children from the NDH camps."From the very beginning I was responsible for the action, everything was done with my name and my risk. I was left with no choice but to take the responsibility by myself. I had adopted a view that my life was not more valuable than life of the innocently persecuted", she wrote in her diary.
The decision that Diana Budisavljevic would be the first holder of the newly adopted dinstinction of the Serbian Orthodox Church - order of Empress Milica, the Holy Synod of Bishops decided in 2011. An initiative for symbolic payback to Diana Budisavljevic came from the study "Diana Budisavljevic and her action of saving Serbia children in NDH from 1941-1945" which was done by the Committee for Jasenovac of the Serbian Orthodox Church, in cooperation with the Belgrade's Museum of Genocide Victims.
Leonard Rasica, an author of five books,who lives and works in Brazil, and who is for the first time in Serbia, received this valuable acknowledgment on behalf of his great-grandmother.
The award ceremony was also attended by Jelena Radojcic and Brigita Knezevic, who survived owing to goodness and heroism of Diana Budisavljevic. While they as children were in the death camps, Diana Budisavljevic took them personally and placed them in Croatian families and at the end of the war, they were brough back to the families which belong to.There are many of them who were left in Croatian families, because according to the order of the Ministry of Social Care of Croatia on 28 May 1945 the entire files of children was taken from Diana Budisavljevic.
Great-grandson Leonard Rasica will receive also the state order on 23 October 2013 which President of the Republic of Serbia Mr. Tomislav Nikolic will award posthumously Diana Budisavljevic.