Diana Budisavljević (r. Obexer) rodila se u Innsbrucku 1891. godine. U Zagreb dolazi 1919. godine kao supruga dr. Julija Budisavljevića. Već od listopada 1941. godine zajedno s većim brojem suradnika nastoji pomoći srpskim ženama s djecom zatočenim u ustaškim logorima. Ta je njena aktivnost među upućenima bila poznata kao Akcija Diana Budisavljević. Akcija je tijekom rata, a naročito 1942. godine po svojem opsegu, broju sudionika i broju spašene srpske djece prerasla u jednu od najsloženijih i nedvojbeno najhumanijih akcija takve vrste na području NDH i čitave okupirane Europe. Literatura napisana u razdoblju socijalističke Jugoslavije davala je sukladno vremenu nastanka glavnu ulogu u akciji spašavanja djece iz logora Komunističkoj pariji. Jednim potezom olovke Dianu Budisavljević iz povijesne memorije izbrisala je jedna druga žena: Tatjana Marinić. U zamahu povijesnog revizionizma akcija spašavanja srpske djece postala je dio „humanitarne“ politike ustaškog režima, a ustaška država jedna uljuđena država koja se brinula za svoje stanovnike, pa tako i srpsku djecu koju je kao države neprijatelje i „nepoćudne“ elemente, najprije strpala u logore, a onda ih „humano“ iz njih spašavala. Cilj ove disertacije temeljene na višegodišnjem istraživačkom radu je pokušaj uspostave objektivne valorizacije njenoga rada, događaja i osoba uključenih u akciju spašavanja srpske i druge djece u razdoblju Drugoga svjetskoga rata na području NDH temeljene na Dnevniku Diane Budisavljević i njenoj ostavštini, izvornom arhivskom gradivu, recentnoj literaturi i kazivanju suvremenika. Uspostavom objektivne istine, što je osnovni cilj ovoga rada željela sam također ispraviti nepravdu koja joj je učinjena. Najveće zasluge Diane Budisavljević u akciji spašavanja srpske djece iz ustaških logora bile su: ishođenje dozvole za preuzimanje djece iz ustaških logora u čemu su presudnu ulogu odigrala dva njemačka časnika, ideja da se djeca koloniziraju putem Karitasa nadbiskupije zagrebačke i izrada Kartoteka djece. Dobivanje dozvola za preuzimanje djece donio je spas velikom broju djece od vjerojatne tragične sudbine. Ideja o kolonizaciji putem Karitasa i lokalnih župnika te udomljavanju djece u obitelji pružila je djeci preuzetoj iz logora siguran život pod okriljem udomitelja različitog socijalnog statusa. I konačno vođenje kartoteke za koju je pokušavala prikupiti što točnije podatke kako bi se djeca po završetku rata mogla vratiti roditeljima ili rodbini.
Diana Budisavljević (Obexer) was born in Innsbruck in 1891. She came to Zagreb as the wife of Dr. Julije Budisavljević. In October 1941, together with a great number of colleagues, she tried to help Serbian women and children detained in camps in the newly formed Independent State of Croatia. Her activity was known as the Diana Budisavljević Action. The act of rescuing these children, mostly of Serbian nationality, was one of the most complex, most humane actions of its kind during the Second World War, in items of its scope, the number of associates involved and the number of children rescued, not only in the Independent State of Croatia, but in the whole of Europe. The Diary of Diana Budisavljević was published in Zagreb in 2003. The Diary is a remarkable historical document of a short, but brutal period in Croatian history, written from the perspective of a woman who found the strenght and courage to think and act freely and provide an active civil resistance to the fascist Ustaša regime in extremely difficult war conditions. Her resistance has all the characteristics of being heroic and progressive, and it should have a place in Croatia's positive historical heritage. The aim of this dissertation, based on the multi - annual research work, is to establish an objective valorization of its work, events and persons involved in the rescue of Serbian and other children during the period of the Second World War on the territory of the Independent State of Croatia. The dissertation is based on The Diary of Diana Budisavljević and her legacy, original archive material, recent literature and the tellings of contemporaries. By establishing an objective truth, I also wanted to correct the injustice that was done to her. During the writting of this dissertation I used traditional metods based on facts by analysing archival sources, related books and various newspapers, From the methodological point of view, the biggest problem was the resources that are kept in archival funds. It was necessary to compare them with all other available sources in order to annul the fact that they were created under ideological imperatives and therefore often concealed the actual circumstances which often did not speak the truth. Diane Budisavljevic's greatest credit in the action of rescuing Serb children from the Ustasha camps was: obtaining a permit to take over children from the Ustasha camps, with two German officers playing the key role, the idea of children colonizing through Caritas and the creation of the Children's Files. 1. Since children from the camp could be taken only legally (with the permission of the competent Ustaša authorities), she found a way to obtain the permission. Her Austrian background, knowledge of German language and previous work with the law certainly helped her. Upon the arrival of the children in Zagreb, Sisak and Jastrebarsko many health professionals were involved in childcare activities (doctors and nurses, Red Cross volunteer nurses, students in the school for educators), as were citizens of all social groups. Several members of the Communist Party, Anti - fascist front of women and the National Liberation Movement supporters were among them. Despite the care, many children, especially small and infants, died from malnutrition, disease and exhaustion, or from the consequences of their earlier stay in the camps. 2. From the 10th of August 1942, Diana and Kamilo Bresler were considering the idea of colonization (placement in the families) as the only possible solution to save such a large number of children. As her co - workers were unable to get permission to travel to the villages, because they were mainly Serbs, Diana proposed seeking help from the Archbishop, because each municipality has a priest who is in contact with the municipality inhabitants, and through the existing church organization the colonization could be conducted in the fastest way. The Ustasha authorities initially refused, until the 23rd of August 1942 when the Ministry of Associations brought a Provision for deployment of refugee children, according to which the “refugee children”, “taken from concentration camps” could “be placed”, respectively “sent for upbringing” to parents or charity guardians “in Croatian and Catholic, peasant and middle-class families.” The colonization was carried out in cooperation with the Caritas belonging to the Zagreb Archdiocese and the Croatian Red Cross 3. Concurrently with charitable activities, almost from the beginning of the “Action”, and in particular from September 1942, Diana started working on the list (files) of children who were taken from the camps and placed in various hospitals and shelters, or with foster families. Files with the list of 12,000 registered children and which should have been used after the war by parents and/or relatives to identify and retrieve children, were taken away from her as a private person (and as such unsuitable one) immediately after the liberation in May 1945, at the request of the Ministry for Social Policy. From the perspective of the authorities she was „a bourgeois“ from a high civil society, an Austrian, a co-worker and „a friend“ with the enemy that occupied the country, she didn't refrain from cooperation with the Zagreb Archdiocese „Caritas“ and the Archbishop Stepinac himself whom she visited very often, like other German officials. At the same time she was not a member of the Antifascist Women's Front nor any other illegal National Liberation Movement organizations in Zagreb. The new government was suspicious of her in every way. Yet they didn't arrest her as they did with her co-worker dr Marko Vidaković nor did they question her nor was she summoned to give a statement to the Land Commission for determination of Crimes committed by the Occupiers and their supporters regarding her work on taking over the children and caring for them as many of her co - workers were. She was forgotten. The professional and scientific literature, written in the period of Socialist Yugoslavia, gave her the main role in the rescue of children from camps. In the pursuit of historic revisionism, the action of rescuing Serbian children becomes a part of the "humanitarian" policy of the Ustasha regime, and the Ustasha state is an affectionate state that cares for its inhabitants and even Serbian children who were labelled as state enemies and "disadvantaged" elements put to the camps and then "humanely" saved from them.