Ante Pavelic
Overview
 
Ante Pavelić was a Croatian
Croats
Croats are a South Slavic ethnic group mostly living in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and nearby countries. There are around 4 million Croats living inside Croatia and up to 4.5 million throughout the rest of the world. Responding to political, social and economic pressure, many Croats have...

 fascist leader, revolutionary, and politician. He ruled as Poglavnik
Poglavnik
Poglavnik was the title used by Ante Pavelić, leader of World War II Croatian fascist movement Ustaše and of the Independent State of Croatia between 1941 and 1945.-Etymology and usage:...

or head, of the Independent State of Croatia
Independent State of Croatia
The Independent State of Croatia was a World War II puppet state of Nazi Germany, established on a part of Axis-occupied Yugoslavia. The NDH was founded on 10 April 1941, after the invasion of Yugoslavia by the Axis powers. All of Bosnia and Herzegovina was annexed to NDH, together with some parts...

 (NDH), a World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 puppet state
Puppet state
A puppet state is a nominal sovereign of a state who is de facto controlled by a foreign power. The term refers to a government controlled by the government of another country like a puppeteer controls the strings of a marionette...

 of Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 in Axis
Axis Powers
The Axis powers , also known as the Axis alliance, Axis nations, Axis countries, or just the Axis, was an alignment of great powers during the mid-20th century that fought World War II against the Allies. It began in 1936 with treaties of friendship between Germany and Italy and between Germany and...

-occupied Yugoslavia
Kingdom of Yugoslavia
The Kingdom of Yugoslavia was a state stretching from the Western Balkans to Central Europe which existed during the often-tumultuous interwar era of 1918–1941...

. In the 1930s, he was a founding member and leader of the Croatian fascist movement, the Ustaše
Ustaše
The Ustaša - Croatian Revolutionary Movement was a Croatian fascist anti-Yugoslav separatist movement. The ideology of the movement was a blend of fascism, Nazism, and Croatian nationalism. The Ustaše supported the creation of a Greater Croatia that would span to the River Drina and to the border...

.

Pavelić was a lawyer and prominent politician in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, known for his nationalistic beliefs, particularly about an independent Croatia.
Encyclopedia
Ante Pavelić was a Croatian
Croats
Croats are a South Slavic ethnic group mostly living in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and nearby countries. There are around 4 million Croats living inside Croatia and up to 4.5 million throughout the rest of the world. Responding to political, social and economic pressure, many Croats have...

 fascist leader, revolutionary, and politician. He ruled as Poglavnik
Poglavnik
Poglavnik was the title used by Ante Pavelić, leader of World War II Croatian fascist movement Ustaše and of the Independent State of Croatia between 1941 and 1945.-Etymology and usage:...

or head, of the Independent State of Croatia
Independent State of Croatia
The Independent State of Croatia was a World War II puppet state of Nazi Germany, established on a part of Axis-occupied Yugoslavia. The NDH was founded on 10 April 1941, after the invasion of Yugoslavia by the Axis powers. All of Bosnia and Herzegovina was annexed to NDH, together with some parts...

 (NDH), a World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 puppet state
Puppet state
A puppet state is a nominal sovereign of a state who is de facto controlled by a foreign power. The term refers to a government controlled by the government of another country like a puppeteer controls the strings of a marionette...

 of Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 in Axis
Axis Powers
The Axis powers , also known as the Axis alliance, Axis nations, Axis countries, or just the Axis, was an alignment of great powers during the mid-20th century that fought World War II against the Allies. It began in 1936 with treaties of friendship between Germany and Italy and between Germany and...

-occupied Yugoslavia
Kingdom of Yugoslavia
The Kingdom of Yugoslavia was a state stretching from the Western Balkans to Central Europe which existed during the often-tumultuous interwar era of 1918–1941...

. In the 1930s, he was a founding member and leader of the Croatian fascist movement, the Ustaše
Ustaše
The Ustaša - Croatian Revolutionary Movement was a Croatian fascist anti-Yugoslav separatist movement. The ideology of the movement was a blend of fascism, Nazism, and Croatian nationalism. The Ustaše supported the creation of a Greater Croatia that would span to the River Drina and to the border...

.

Pavelić was a lawyer and prominent politician in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, known for his nationalistic beliefs, particularly about an independent Croatia. From 1927 until 1929 he was a member of the Yugoslav Parliament where he declared his beliefs about Croatian independence. During this time he called on Croats for armed revolt against Yugoslavia, and after King Alexander I
Alexander I of Yugoslavia
Alexander I , also known as Alexander the Unifier was the first king of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia as well as the last king of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes .-Childhood:...

 declared his 6 January Dictatorship he escaped to Italy where he founded the Ustaša - Croatian Revolutionary Movement
Ustaše
The Ustaša - Croatian Revolutionary Movement was a Croatian fascist anti-Yugoslav separatist movement. The ideology of the movement was a blend of fascism, Nazism, and Croatian nationalism. The Ustaše supported the creation of a Greater Croatia that would span to the River Drina and to the border...

. At first it was a Croatian nationalist
Croatian nationalism
Croatian nationalism is the nationalism of Croats or of Croatian culture. It arose in the 19th century in response to Magyarization of Croat territories under Hungarian rule, especially under the influence of Ante Starčević and Eugen Kvaternik,...

 movement with the goal of creating an independent Greater Croatia
Greater Croatia
Greater Croatia is a term applied to certain currents within Croatian nationalism. In one sense, it refers to the territorial scope of the Croatian people, emphasising the ethnicity of those Croats living outside Croatia...

 by means of armed revolt. In October 1934 he planned the assassination of King Alexander I and spent time in prison in Italy until 1936. After the Axis invaded Yugoslavia
Invasion of Yugoslavia
The Invasion of Yugoslavia , also known as the April War , was the Axis Powers' attack on the Kingdom of Yugoslavia which began on 6 April 1941 during World War II...

 on April 10, 1941 Slavko Kvaternik
Slavko Kvaternik
Slavko Kvaternik was a Croatian military commander and a collaborator with Nazi Germany. He was noted for military service in World War I, later as a deputy leader and founding member of the Croatian Ustaša movement in the 1930s who then became one of the leaders of the "Independent State of...

 declared the Independent State of Croatia
Independent State of Croatia
The Independent State of Croatia was a World War II puppet state of Nazi Germany, established on a part of Axis-occupied Yugoslavia. The NDH was founded on 10 April 1941, after the invasion of Yugoslavia by the Axis powers. All of Bosnia and Herzegovina was annexed to NDH, together with some parts...

 in the name of the Poglavnik, Pavelić. As the leader of the Croatian state Pavelić took full control of the country and soon created a political system similar to Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 and Fascist Italy
Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946)
The Kingdom of Italy was a state forged in 1861 by the unification of Italy under the influence of the Kingdom of Sardinia, which was its legal predecessor state...

. After the war he escaped to Argentina where he remained politically active. He was wounded in a 1957 assassination attempt by the Yugoslav Department of State Security, following which he went to Spain where he died from his wounds on December 28, 1959.

Birth and education

Ante Pavelić was born in the small Herzegovinian
Herzegovina
Herzegovina is the southern region of Bosnia and Herzegovina. While there is no official border distinguishing it from the Bosnian region, it is generally accepted that the borders of the region are Croatia to the west, Montenegro to the south, the canton boundaries of the Herzegovina-Neretva...

 village of Bradina
Bradina (Konjic)
Bradina is a village in the municipality of Konjic in Herzegovina, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina.-Population:-Notable persons from Bradina:* Ante Pavelić, Poglavnik of the Independent State of Croatia-Sources:...

 on the slopes of Ivan Mountain north of Konjic
Konjic
Konjic is a town and municipality in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is located in northern Herzegovina, around southwest of Sarajevo. It is a mountainous, heavily wooded area, and is above sea level. The municipality extends on both sides of the Neretva River. The town of Konjic, housed about a third...

, roughly 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) southwest of Hadžići
Hadžici
Hadžići is a town and a municipality located south west of Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina. According to government statistics from 2002, Hadžići Municipality has a population of 20,055 residents.- 1971 :18,508 total...

, then part of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. His parents had moved to the Austrian-Hungarian condominium of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina (Austro-Hungarian condominium)
The Austro-Hungarian condominium of Bosnia and Herzegovina was a condominium established after the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina by Austria-Hungary in 1908, following its occupation in 1878 under the terms of the Treaty of Berlin.-History:...

 from the village of Krivi Put
Krivi Put
Krivi Put is a village located in a forested area near Senj, in Lika-Senj County, Croatia. The name of the settlement means "wriggly way".Krivi Put is one of the most famous resorts in the Bunjevci-populated areas: its earliest settlers founded the village in 1605, favouring it as good grazing land...

 in the central part of the Velebit
Velebit
Velebit is the largest though not the highest mountain range in Croatia. Its highest peak is the Vaganski vrh at 1757 m.The range forms a part of the Dinaric Alps and is located along the Adriatic coast, separating it from Lika in the interior...

 plain, in southern Lika
Lika
Lika is a mountainous region in central Croatia, roughly bound by the Velebit mountain from the southwest and the Plješevica mountain from the northeast. On the north-west end Lika is bounded by Ogulin-Plaški basin, and on the south-east by the Malovan pass...

 (today's Croatia). In search of work his family moved to the village of Jezero
Jezero (Jajce)
Jezero is a village in the municipality of Jajce, Bosnia and Herzegovina....

 outside Jajce
Jajce
Jajce is a city and municipality located in the central part of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is part of the Central Bosnia Canton of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina entity...

 where Pavelić attended primary school - a Muslim Maktab
Maktab
Maktab , also called kuttab , is an Arabic word meaning elementary schools...

. Here Pavelić listened to Muslim traditions and lessons that influenced his attitude towards Bosnia and its Muslims
Bosniaks
The Bosniaks or Bosniacs are a South Slavic ethnic group, living mainly in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with a smaller minority also present in other lands of the Balkan Peninsula especially in Serbia, Montenegro and Croatia...

. Pavelić also attended a Jesuit primary school in Travnik
Travnik
Travnik is a city and municipality in central Bosnia and Herzegovina, 90 km west of Sarajevo. It is the capital of the Central Bosnia Canton, and is located in the Travnik Municipality. Travnik today has some 27,000 residents, with a metro population that is probably close to 70,000 people...

, growing up in a city where the majority of population was Muslim. Bosnian Muslim culture was later to become a major influence on his political views. Health problems interrupted his education for a short time in 1905. In Sommer he found job on the railway in Sarajevo
Sarajevo
Sarajevo |Bosnia]], surrounded by the Dinaric Alps and situated along the Miljacka River in the heart of Southeastern Europe and the Balkans....

 and Višegrad
Višegrad
Višegrad is a town and municipality in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is part of the Republika Srpska entity. It is on the river Drina, located on the road from Goražde and Ustiprača towards Užice, Serbia.-History:...

 Afterwards he continued his education in Zagreb, home city of his elder brother. In Zagreb, Pavelić attended high school where failure to complete his fourth year classes meant he had to resit the exam. Early in his high school days, he joined the Pure Party of Rights
Party of Rights (1861–1929)
The Party of Rights or Party of the Right was an influential Croatian political party in the 19th and 20th centuries. The right or rights in the party's name refer to the idea of Croatian national and ethnic rights that were the central topic of the party's existence, as the first name was Stranka...

 as well as Frankovci students' organization, founded by Josip Frank
Josip Frank
Josip Frank was a Croatian lawyer and politician, a noted representative of the Party of Rights and the Pure Party of Rights in the Croatian Parliament, and a vocal advocate of Croatian national independence in Austria-Hungary.- Early life :Frank was born into a Croatian Jewish family, and he...

, father-in-law of Slavko Kvaternik
Slavko Kvaternik
Slavko Kvaternik was a Croatian military commander and a collaborator with Nazi Germany. He was noted for military service in World War I, later as a deputy leader and founding member of the Croatian Ustaša movement in the 1930s who then became one of the leaders of the "Independent State of...

, an Austrian-Hungarian colonel. Later he attended high school in Senj
Senj
Senj , German Zengg, Hungarian Zeng and Italian Segna) is the oldest town on the upper Adriatic, and it was founded in the time before the Romans some 3000 years ago on the hill Kuk. It was the center of the Illyrian tribe Iapydes. The current settlement is situated at the foot of the slopes Mala...

 at the classical gymnasium
Gymnasium (school)
A gymnasium is a type of school providing secondary education in some parts of Europe, comparable to English grammar schools or sixth form colleges and U.S. college preparatory high schools. The word γυμνάσιον was used in Ancient Greece, meaning a locality for both physical and intellectual...

 where he completed his fifth year classes. Health problems again interrupted his education and he took a job on the on road in Istria
Istria
Istria , formerly Histria , is the largest peninsula in the Adriatic Sea. The peninsula is located at the head of the Adriatic between the Gulf of Trieste and the Bay of Kvarner...

, near Buzet
Buzet
Buzet is a town in Istria, Croatia, population 6,059 . Already at the time of Venetian rule, Buzet supplied military stations and the local population with potable water. Today the region of Buze-stina is the central area of the future Native Park of Istria...

. In 1909 he continued his education in Karlovac
Karlovac
Karlovac is a city and municipality in central Croatia. The city proper has a population of 49,082, while the municipality has a population of 59,395 inhabitants .Karlovac is the administrative centre of Karlovac County...

 where he finished his sixth year classes. Seventh year classes were taken in Senj and Pavelić graduated in Zagreb 1910. In 1910 he entered the Law Faculty at the University of Zagreb. At the same time Pavelić became a lawyer's clerk with the firm of Aleksandar Horvat, President of the Pure Party of Rights, where he earned his doctorate in July 1915.

Political rise and exile

During World War I Pavelić played an active role in the affairs of the Party of Rights. As an employee and friend of its leader Horvat, he often attended important party meetings, later taking over Horvat's duties when he was absent. Horvat ceased legal practice in 1918 and Pavelić became an independent lawyer. After unification of the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs
State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs
The State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs was a short-lived state formed from the southernmost parts of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy after its dissolution at the end of the World War I by the resident population of Slovenes, Croats, and Serbs...

 with the Kingdom of Serbia
Kingdom of Serbia
The Kingdom of Serbia was created when Prince Milan Obrenović, ruler of the Principality of Serbia, was crowned King in 1882. The Principality of Serbia was ruled by the Karađorđevic dynasty from 1817 onwards . The Principality, suzerain to the Porte, had expelled all Ottoman troops by 1867, de...

 on December 1, 1918 the Party of Rights held a day of public protest. The Croatian people were against having a Serbian king they had not asked for, neither had their highest state authorities agreed to unification. Further, the party expressed their wish for Croatian republic. By 1921 Pavelić was an elected city official in Zagreb and soon became a leading figures in the Party of Rights where he was a major influence on younger members. Initially he was member of the party's business committee, then secretary and later vice-president of the party. After becoming leader of the party Pavelić began to advocate Croatian independence.

At this time, along with several other party members, Pavelić was arrested for anti-Yugoslav activities. He acted as defence lawyer at the subsequent trial and they were all released. On August 12, 1922, in St. Mark's Church
St. Mark's Church, Zagreb
Church of St. Mark is the parish church of old Zagreb.-Overview:The Romanesque window found in its south facade is the best evidence that the church must have been built as early as the 13th century as is also the semicircular groundplan of St...

, Zagreb
Zagreb
Zagreb is the capital and the largest city of the Republic of Croatia. It is in the northwest of the country, along the Sava river, at the southern slopes of the Medvednica mountain. Zagreb lies at an elevation of approximately above sea level. According to the last official census, Zagreb's city...

, Pavelić married Maria Lovrenčević. Maria was part Jewish
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

 through her mother's family and her father, Martin Lovrenčević, was also a member of the Party of Rights and a well-known journalist. The marriage resulted in three children: son Velimir and daughters Mirjana and Višnja.

Later Pavelić became vice-president of the Croatian Bar Association, the professional body representing Croatian lawyers.

Following his election to parliament as a member of the Croatian Bloc in the 1927 election, Pavelić became the Croatian Party of Rights liaison with Nikola Pašić
Nikola Pašic
Nikola P. Pašić was a Serbian and Yugoslav politician and diplomat, the most important Serbian political figure for almost 40 years, leader of the People's Radical Party who, among other posts, was twice a mayor of Belgrade...

, the Yugoslav Prime Minister. He was one of two elected Croatian Bloc candidates alongside Ante Trumbić
Ante Trumbic
Ante Trumbić was a Croatian politician in the early 20th century. He was one of the key politicians in the creation of a Yugoslav state....

, one of the key politicians in the creation of a Yugoslav state. Pavelić held the position of party secretary in the Party of Rights until 1929, the beginning of the royal government in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.

In his speeches to the Yugoslav Parliament he was pointed in his opposition to Serbian nationalism
Serbian nationalism
Serbian nationalism refers to the ethnic nationalism of Serbs. Originally arising in the context of the general rise of nationalism in the Balkans under Ottoman rule, under the influence of Serbian linguist Vuk Stefanović Karadžić and Ilija Garašanin....

 and spoke in favor of Croatian independence. His activity with the youth of the Croatian Party of Rights was prominent and he began contributing to the Starčević and Kvaternik newspapers.

Serbian members of the Yugoslav Parliament disliked him and when a Serbian member said "Good night" to him in parliament, Pavelić responded:

In June 1927 Pavelić represented Zagreb County
Zagreb County
Zagreb County is a county in central Croatia. It surrounds – but does not contain – the nation's capital Zagreb, which is a separate territorial unit. For that reason, it is often nicknamed "Zagreb ring"...

 at the European Congress of Cities in Paris. Later the same year Pavelić defended Macedonians charged in Skopje with terrorist offences.

Through his Viennese contacts, Pavelić established clandestine links with the Italian government. He was less successful in attempting to forge similar links in Hungary
Kingdom of Hungary
The Kingdom of Hungary comprised present-day Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia , Transylvania , Carpatho Ruthenia , Vojvodina , Burgenland , and other smaller territories surrounding present-day Hungary's borders...

, where the Budapest authorities were wary of jeapordizing their relations with other countries.

Pavelić was eyewitness to the 1928 assassination of Stjepan Radić
Stjepan Radic
Stjepan Radić was a Croatian politician and the founder of the Croatian Peasant Party in 1905. Radić is credited with galvanizing the peasantry of Croatia into a viable political force...

 in the chamber
Chambers of parliament
Many parliaments or other legislatures consist of two chambers : an elected lower house, and an upper house or Senate which may be appointed or elected by a different mechanism from the lower house. This style of two houses is called bicameral...

 of the Yugoslav Parliament.

The following year Pavelić founded the armed group Hrvatski domobran ("Croatian Home Guard"), an act through which he openly called on Croatians to revolt. Yugoslav authorities declared the organization illegal and forbade its activities. When King Alexander I
Alexander I of Yugoslavia
Alexander I , also known as Alexander the Unifier was the first king of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia as well as the last king of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes .-Childhood:...

 proclaimed dictatorship on 6 January 1929, Pavelić left for Italy, later moving on to Vienna. Circumstances then forced him to engage in political activities he had wished to avoid. He established contact with the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization and shortly afterwards was invited to Bulgaria to meet representatives of the Macedonian National Committee. The meeting produced the Sofia Declaration in which they formalized cooperation between Ustaše and Macedonian revolutionists. Pavelić stated that the name was taken from Bosnian rebels who called themselves Ustaše. The Ustaše had resisted the Austrian-Hungarian occupation since 1878, and their anthem the Ustaška koračnica ("Ustaše March") was based on a Bosnian rebel song of 1878. This declaration was very important to Pavelić and the Ustaše. Yugoslavia protested to Bulgaria. whilst Pavelić was charged with and found guilty of high treason, then sentenced to death in absentia along with Gustav Perčec. Serbian nationalism in Yugoslavia made it easier for Pavelić to establish Ustaša The Croatian Revolutionary Organization.

Life in exile

With permanent residence in Austria forbidden, Pavelić and his family left for Italy where they lived until April 1941. In Italy he frequently changed location and lived under false names, most often as Antonio Serdar. The Italian authorities did not want to formally support Ustaše or Pavelić to protect their reputation, nevertheless they received support from Italian Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism....

, who saw them as a means to help destroy Yugoslavia and expand Italian influence in the Adriatic. Mussolini allowed Pavelić to live in exile in Rome and train his paramilitaries for war with Yugoslavia. Later, many Croats would join the Ustaše over dissatisfaction with the situation in Yugoslavia. When Pavelić left Italy in 1929, he did not immediately set up an organization. Instead he first used Ustaša as the name of a newspaper he wrote, then later for an organization he founded in 1930 called Ustaša - Hrvatska revolucionarna organizacija (Ustaša - Croatian Revolutionary Organization; abbreviated to UHRO). Shortly afterwards Croats in Argentina, the United States, Belgium and many other European countries joined the Hrvatski domobran (Croatian Home Guard) led by Pavelić as Poglavnik. Early members of UHRO later became high ranking figures in the Ustaša regime including Vjekoslav Luburić (codename Maks), Jure Francetić
Jure Francetic
Jure Francetić was an World War II Ustaše Commissioner of Bosnia and Herzegovina, responsible for the massacre of Bosnian Serbs and Jews.-Early life and activities prior to formation of NDH:...

 (codename Laszlo) and Rafael Boban
Rafael Boban
Rafael "Ranko" Boban was a member of the Croatian World War II Ustaše regime, and the commander of the Black Legion....

.

In the main Ustaša Department on July 1, 1933 Pavelić laid out the 17 objectives of the Ustaše. The main goal was the creation of an independent Croatian state based on its historical and ethnic areas, with Pavelić stating that Ustaše must pursue this end by any means necessary, even by force of arms. According to his own rules he would organize actions, assassinations and diversions. Ustaše training camps were set up, chiefly in Brescia
Brescia
Brescia is a city and comune in the region of Lombardy in northern Italy. It is situated at the foot of the Alps, between the Mella and the Naviglio, with a population of around 197,000. It is the second largest city in Lombardy, after the capital, Milan...

 and Borgotaro
Borgo Val di Taro
Borgo Val di Taro is a town and comune in Emilia, Italy, in the Province of Parma, 63 km from the city of Parma.Borgo Val di Taro is an important centre for cattle husbandry in Emilia and it's one of the zones where Parmigiano-Reggiano is produced....

 in Italy along with Janka Puszta in Hungary.

At a meeting held in Spittal
Spittal an der Drau
Spittal an der Drau is located in the western part of the Austrian federal state of Carinthia and the administrative centre of the federal state's second largest district, Spittal an der Drau. It lies between the Lurnfeld area and the Lower Drava Valley. The city consists of the seven...

 in Austria in 1932, Pavelić, Gustav Perčec and Vjekoslav Servatzy
Vjekoslav Servatzy
Vjekoslav Servatzy was a Croatian officer and nationalist politician.-Biography:Servatzy was born in Ruma on 23 March 1889. As an officer in the Austro-Hungarian Army he was decorated with the Golden Bravery Medal . After the establishment of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, he was often...

 decided to start a small uprising. It began at midnight on September 6, 1932 and was known as the Velebit Uprising. Led by Andrija Artuković
Andrija Artukovic
Andrija Artuković was a Croatian politician and a member of the Ustaše movement. Artuković was convicted of war crimes committed against minorities in the Independent State of Croatia during World War II...

, the insurgency involved around 20 Ustaše members armed with Italian equipment. The Ustaše attacked a police station and half an hour later pulled back to Velebit with no casualties. Despite the small scale of the uprising the Yugoslav authorities were unnerved because the power of the Ustaše was unknown. As a result major security measures were introduced.

The Ustaše later made two attempts to assassinate King Alexander I of Yugoslavia
Alexander I of Yugoslavia
Alexander I , also known as Alexander the Unifier was the first king of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia as well as the last king of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes .-Childhood:...

. A general laxity in security and the absence of armed protection afforded the Yugoslav monarch when it was common knowledge that one attempt had already been made on Alexander's life testify to Pavelić's organizational abilities; he had apparently been able to bribe a high official in the Sûreté
Sûreté
Sûreté is a term used in French speaking countries or regions in the organizational title of a civil police force, especially the detective branch thereof.-France:...

 General. The Prefect of Police of Marseilles, Jouhannaud, was subsequently removed from office. For the second time, Pavelić was in absentia sentenced to death, this time by a French court.
Under pressure from France, the Italian police arrested Pavelić and several Ustaša emigrants on October 17, 1934. Pavelić was imprisoned in Turin
Turin
Turin is a city and major business and cultural centre in northern Italy, capital of the Piedmont region, located mainly on the left bank of the Po River and surrounded by the Alpine arch. The population of the city proper is 909,193 while the population of the urban area is estimated by Eurostat...

 and released in March 1936. where he wrote his novel Liepa Plavojka ("The Lovely Blonde")

Disappointed with relations between the Italians and the Ustaše organization, Pavelić became closer to Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

, which promised to change the map of Europe fixed under the 1919 Treaty of Versailles
Treaty of Versailles
The Treaty of Versailles was one of the peace treaties at the end of World War I. It ended the state of war between Germany and the Allied Powers. It was signed on 28 June 1919, exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The other Central Powers on the German side of...

. At the end of October 1936, he finished a study for the German Foreign Ministry entitled "The Croatian Question" (Die kroatische Frage). However, since German foreign policy promulgated a united Yugoslavia, Pavelić's study made little impression on them. The day after his next book, Horrors and Mistakes , was published in Italy it was seized and like all Ustaše activities its distribution proscribed. Following the Ciano
Galeazzo Ciano
Gian Galeazzo Ciano, 2nd Count of Cortellazzo and Buccari was an Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Benito Mussolini's son-in-law. In early 1944 Count Ciano was shot by firing squad at the behest of his father-in-law, Mussolini under pressure from Nazi Germany.-Early life:Ciano was born in...

Stojadinović
Milan Stojadinovic
Milan Stojadinović was a Yugoslav political figure and a noted economist.Stojadinović was born in Čačak in central Serbia, and went to school in Užice and Kragujevac. In 1910 he graduated from the University of Belgrade's Law School, and gained a Ph.D. in economics in 1911...

 Agreement of April 1, 1937, which normalized relations between Italy and Yugoslavia, Pavelić was forced to issue an order dissolving all Ustaše units and camps in Italian territory. He then lived in Siena
Siena
Siena is a city in Tuscany, Italy. It is the capital of the province of Siena.The historic centre of Siena has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site. It is one of the nation's most visited tourist attractions, with over 163,000 international arrivals in 2008...

 until 1939. Following Stojadinović's fall from power in 1939, Ustaša activity increased. Nazi Germany remained adamant that Yugoslavia must be united, the Italians wavered and only Pavelić remained firm in his belief in the creation of an independent Croatian state.

Ustaše regime

In March 1941 Germany invaded Yugoslavia. The Germans believed that it would be easier to break the country if they made contact with the large number of Croats and other groups dissatisfied with the then king's regime. Since the Croatian Peasant Party
Croatian Peasant Party
The Croatian Peasant Party is a center and socially conservative political party in Croatia.-Austria-Hungary:The Croatian People's Peasant Party was formed on December 22, 1904 by Antun Radić along with his brother Stjepan Radić. The party contested elections for the first time in the Kingdom of...

 had the support of the majority of Croats, the Germans considered that giving them power through a newly formed Croatian state under the leadership of Vladko Maček
Vladko Macek
Vladko Maček was a Croatian politician active within the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in the first half of the 20th century. He led the Croatian Peasant Party following the assassination of Stjepan Radić, and all through World War II.- Early life :Maček was born to a Slovene-Czech family in the village...

 offered a better option than supporting the Ustaše. The Germans thought of Pavelić as just an Italian political figure. When Maček refused to cooperate with the Axis, Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 accepted Italy's proposal that Pavelić become Head of State of Croatia. On April 10, 1941, Ustaše deputy leader Slavko Kvaternik
Slavko Kvaternik
Slavko Kvaternik was a Croatian military commander and a collaborator with Nazi Germany. He was noted for military service in World War I, later as a deputy leader and founding member of the Croatian Ustaša movement in the 1930s who then became one of the leaders of the "Independent State of...

 declared Independent State of Croatia
Independent State of Croatia
The Independent State of Croatia was a World War II puppet state of Nazi Germany, established on a part of Axis-occupied Yugoslavia. The NDH was founded on 10 April 1941, after the invasion of Yugoslavia by the Axis powers. All of Bosnia and Herzegovina was annexed to NDH, together with some parts...

 in the name of Poglavnik dr. Ante Pavelić.
On April 13, 1941 Pavelić entered Croatia and spent the night of April 15 in Zagreb together with his Ustaše emigrant escort. He began his duties as Head of State and formed a new government. Not long afterwards his family joined him in Zagreb.

To gain favor with their Axis allies, the new Croatian government introduced a similar one-party state. Ustaše and all other political parties, including the Croatian Peasant Party, were dissolved. Many Croats who wanted to help develop the Croatian state were jailed as political dissidents. They included Maček who was imprisoned in Jasenovac concentration camp
Jasenovac concentration camp
Jasenovac concentration camp was the largest extermination camp in the Independent State of Croatia and occupied Yugoslavia during World War II...

 and later placed under house arrest, a situation that lasted until the end of the war.
Since Pavelić was Poglavnik of both Ustaše's and the Croatian state he held absolute power. As part of the development of a personality cult he was represented as the second most important person in Croatian history with his name linked to that of Ante Starčević
Ante Starcevic
Ante Starčević , was a Croatian politician and writer whose activities and works laid the foundations for the modern Croatian state.His works are base for Croatian nationalism, he is often referred to as Father of the Fatherland by Croats.-Life:...

, "liberator" of the Croatian people. Many artists wrote songs in Pavelić's honor whilst a host of sculptures and paintings were produced including a statue by Antun Augustinčić
Antun Augustincic
Antun Augustinčić was a prominent Croatian sculptor. Along with Ivan Meštrović and Frano Kršinić he is considered one of the three most important Croatian sculptors of the 20th century...

 and a portrait by Ante Kaštelančić.

Although Pavelić announced his new government on April 16, 1941 he took all important decisions himself. He summoned the Sabor, (Parliament of Croatia
Parliament of Croatia
The Parliament of Croatia or the Sabor is the unicameral representative body of the citizens of the Republic of Croatia and legislature of the country. Under the terms of the Croatian Constitution, represents the people and is vested with the legislative power...

) in February 1942 but it had little influence and after December 1942 was never called again. Relations with Germany and Italy were the key factors in a Croatian state with a political system modeled on that of her Axis allies. Italian claims over Croatian territory disrupted relations between the two states. Matters came to a head with the Treaty of Rome when Croatia was forced to give up part of Dalmatia
Dalmatia
Dalmatia is a historical region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. It stretches from the island of Rab in the northwest to the Bay of Kotor in the southeast. The hinterland, the Dalmatian Zagora, ranges from fifty kilometers in width in the north to just a few kilometers in the south....

, Krk
Krk
Krk is a Croatian island in the northern Adriatic Sea, located near Rijeka in the Bay of Kvarner and part of the Primorje-Gorski Kotar county....

, Rab
Rab
Rab is an island in Croatia and a town of the same name located just off the northern Croatian coast in the Adriatic Sea.The island is long, has an area of and 9,480 inhabitants . The highest peak is Kamenjak at 408 meters...

, Korčula
Korcula
Korčula is an island in the Adriatic Sea, in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County of Croatia. The island has an area of ; long and on average wide — and lies just off the Dalmatian coast. Its 16,182 inhabitants make it the second most populous Adriatic island after Krk...

, Biograd, Šibenik
Šibenik
Šibenik is a historic town in Croatia, with population of 51,553 . It is located in central Dalmatia where the river Krka flows into the Adriatic Sea...

, Split, Čiovo
Ciovo
Čiovo is a small island located off the Adriatic coast in Croatia with an area of 28.8 km2 , population of 6,071 inhabitants and its highest peak is 218 m ....

, Šolta
Šolta
Šolta is an island in Croatia. It is situated in the Adriatic Sea in the central Dalmatian archipelago, west of the island of Brač, south of Split and east of the Drvenik islands . Its area is 58.98 km2 and it has a population of 1,675 .The highest peak of Šolta is the summit Vela Straža...

, Mljet
Mljet
Mljet is the most southerly and easterly of the larger Adriatic islands of the Dalmatia region of Croatia. The National Park includes the western part of the island, Veliko jezero, Malo jezero, Soline Bay and a sea belt 500 m wide from the most prominent cape of Mljet covering an area of...

 and parts of Konavle
Konavle
Konavle is a small region and municipality located southeast of Dubrovnik, Croatia.It is administratively part of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County and forms a municipality with its center at Gruda with a total population of 8,250 people split in 32 villages, in which 96.5% are Croats...

 and the Bay of Kotor
Bay of Kotor
The Bay of Kotor in south-western Montenegro is a winding bay on the Adriatic Sea. The bay, sometimes called Europe's southernmost fjord, is in fact a submerged river canyon of the disintegrated Bokelj River which used to run from the high mountain plateaus of Mount Orjen...

 to Italy. A Croatian proposal that Split and Korčula Island be jointly administrated was ignored by Italy. These annexations shocked the people and led to the only public demonstration recorded in the Independent State of Croatia's history. Hundreds of citizens, members of the Ustaše Movement and Domobranstvo
Croatian Home Guard
Croatian Home Guard or also, known as the "Homeland Defenders," was the name used for the armed forces of the Independent State of Croatia which existed during World War II.- Formation :...

protested on Christmas Day 1941. Pavelić tried to retrieve the lost areas but kept his real feelings and those of the people from the Italians to maintain the pretext of good relations.

Although Croatia sought support from Germany over the territory issue, their erstwhile ally considered such areas under Italian influence and refused to intervene. Communist propaganda discredited Pavelić over the Italian annexations even though he did his best to maintain the territorial integrity of Croatia through refusing an Italian offer of customs, monetary and personal union. Pavelić agreed to Italy's suggestion and named Prince Aimone, Duke of Aosta, king of Croatia, but he was neither accepted as king nor ever held sway over the Croatian state.
Pavelić's internal policies were largely unacceptable to the Croatian people, particularly his arrests of political enemies and Ustaša's uneasy relationship with indigenous Jews who were accepted in Croatian society. Ustaša's persecution of Serbs
Serbs of Croatia
Višeslav of Serbia, a contemporary of Charlemagne , ruled the Županias of Neretva, Tara, Piva, Lim, his ancestral lands. According to the Royal Frankish Annals , Duke of Pannonia Ljudevit Posavski fled, during the Frankish invasion, from his seat in Sisak to the Serbs in western Bosnia, who...

 caused many of them to join the Yugoslav Partisans or Chetniks
Chetniks
Chetniks, or the Chetnik movement , were Serbian nationalist and royalist paramilitary organizations from the first half of the 20th century. The Chetniks were formed as a Serbian resistance against the Ottoman Empire in 1904, and participated in the Balkan Wars, World War I, and World War II...

which destabilised Croatia. German influence on Croatia led to the introduction of regulations for Jews, the least pleasant of which were Ustaše run concentration and forced labor camps. The most notorious camp was Jasenovac concentration camp where 70,000-80,000 people died. The death of 18,000 Croatians Jews is somewhat incongruous given that at the time many high ranking army officers were Jewish as were the wives of some government ministers. Josip Frank
Josip Frank
Josip Frank was a Croatian lawyer and politician, a noted representative of the Party of Rights and the Pure Party of Rights in the Croatian Parliament, and a vocal advocate of Croatian national independence in Austria-Hungary.- Early life :Frank was born into a Croatian Jewish family, and he...

, a noted representative of the Party of Rights of which Pavelić was a member, had also been a Jew. At the outset the Ustaše was largely anti-Serb in orientation with later Nazi influence making it anti-Semitic too. Although Pavelić had founded the Ustaše Movement to free Croats from Serbian oppression and punish Serbs for their torture of Croats, the organization was not based on a policy of racial hatred. Because Serbs massively started to revolt and after they committed various crimes against Croats and Muslims, Pavelić founded the Croatian Orthodox Church
Croatian Orthodox Church
The Croatian Orthodox Church was a religious body created during World War II by the Ustasha regime in the Independent State of Croatia .The reason for formation of this church was that Orthodox Christian Churches are state-based...

 in the hope of pacifying the Serbs. Thereafter, as per the ideology of Ante Starčević, Serbs were considered Orthodox Croats and their status improved, especially in urban ares.

Pavelić loyalists, mainly Ustaše, wanted to fight to the bitter end against communist partisans whilst other Croats, unnerved by the idea of a new Yugoslavia, also supported him. At the time, communism seemed alien to the majority of Croats hence they did not support the partisans.
At a meeting in Berchtesgaden
Berchtesgaden
Berchtesgaden is a municipality in the German Bavarian Alps. It is located in the south district of Berchtesgadener Land in Bavaria, near the border with Austria, some 30 km south of Salzburg and 180 km southeast of Munich...

, Bavaria
Bavaria
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...

 in early June 1941, Hitler encouraged Pavelić to accept Slovenian immigrants and deport Serbs to Serbia
Nedic's Serbia
Serbia under German occupation refers to an administrative area in occupied Yugoslavia established by Nazi Germany following the invasion and dismantling of Yugoslavia in April of 1941...

. The German leader also stated that too much tolerance could be damaging and suggested Pavelić adopt "fifty years of a nationally intolerant policy" Over the next few months, the Ustaše deported around 120,000 Serbs.

Pavelić and his government devoted great attention to culture. Although most literature was propaganda, many books did not have an ideological basis which allowed Croatian culture to flourish. The Croatian National Theatre staged a number of performances and received many world-famous actors as visitors. The major cultural milestone was the publication of the Croatian Encyclopedia
Croatian Encyclopedia
The Croatian Encyclopedia is a Croatian encyclopedia which is currently published by the Miroslav Krleža Lexicographical Institute.The first Croatian Encyclopedia was begun in the 1930s in Zagreb by the publisher Mate Ujević. After the formation of the Banovina of Croatia the project received the...

, a work later forbidden under the communist regime. Croatian sport also improved and in 1941 the Croatian Football Association joined FIFA
FIFA
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association , commonly known by the acronym FIFA , is the international governing body of :association football, futsal and beach football. Its headquarters are located in Zurich, Switzerland, and its president is Sepp Blatter, who is in his fourth...

.

One of the key events in the history of the Independent State of Croatia
Independent State of Croatia
The Independent State of Croatia was a World War II puppet state of Nazi Germany, established on a part of Axis-occupied Yugoslavia. The NDH was founded on 10 April 1941, after the invasion of Yugoslavia by the Axis powers. All of Bosnia and Herzegovina was annexed to NDH, together with some parts...

 was the Lorković-Vokić coup
Lorkovic-Vokic coup
Lorković-Vokić coup was a failed attempt plotted by Mladen Lorković and Ante Vokić to take over the power in Independent State of Croatia in August 1944. Mladen Lorković, Foreign Minister in government of NDH realized that Axis powers are going to lose World War II and decided it is time NDH...

 of 1944. Minister Mladen Lorković
Mladen Lorković
Mladen Lorković was a Croatian politician, lawyer and Ustasha leader.-Early life:Lorković was born in Zagreb on 1 March 1909. As a high school student he was a supporter of Croatian Party of Rights, later joining the Croatian Youth Movement. He studied law at the University of Zagreb...

 and army officer Ante Vokić
Ante Vokić
Ante Vokić was a Croatian politician, Ustaše krilnik and putschist.-Youth:Vokić was born in Mostar on 23 August 1909. He finished gimnasium in Sarajevo and attended Faculty of Law at University of Zagreb. He ended his study in 1929 and started working in train service in Sarajevo...

 suggested a plan to Pavelić whereby Croatia would change sides in the war and Pavelić would no longer be head of state in accordance with British demands. At first, Pavelić supported their ideas but changed his mind following a visit from local Gestapo
Gestapo
The Gestapo was the official secret police of Nazi Germany. Beginning on 20 April 1934, it was under the administration of the SS leader Heinrich Himmler in his position as Chief of German Police...

 officer who told him that Germany would win the war with new weapons under development. Pavelić decided to arrest Lorković and Vokić along with others involved in the coup, some representatives of the Croatian Peasant Party and a number of Domobran
Croatian Home Guard
Croatian Home Guard or also, known as the "Homeland Defenders," was the name used for the armed forces of the Independent State of Croatia which existed during World War II.- Formation :...

officers. Lorković and Vokić were shot at the end of April 1945 in Lepoglava prison
Lepoglava
Lepoglava is a town in Varaždin County, northern Croatia, located southwest of Varaždin, west of Ivanec and northeast of Krapina.A total of 8,271 people in the municipality lives in the following settlements:* Bednjica, population 214...

. After plans for an "Anglo-American" coup were discovered, from September 1944 until February 1945, Pavelić negotiated with the Soviet Union. The Soviets agreed to recognize the Croatian state on condition that the Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

 had free access and communists were allowed free rein. Pavelić refused their proposal and remained allied with Nazi Germany until the end of the war.

Seeing Germany folding and aware that the Croatian army was no longer in any condition to resist the communists, Pavelić ordered withdrawal of all Croatian Armed Forces to Austria. There they were to surrender to the British who he believed, unlike the partisans, would treat his soldiers in accordance with the Geneva Convention. Pavelić left the country on May 6, 1945 and reached the Austrian border on May 8. For his abandonment of Croatian soldiers and civilians in Rogaška Slatina
Rogaška Slatina
Rogaška Slatina is a settlement and a municipality in Slovenia. It is famous for its curative mineral water, spa and crystal glass.Rogaška Slatina is a synonym for health resort tourism in Slovenia. For centuries the curative mineral water rich in magnesium , the picturesque countryside and other...

, later Croatian emigrants would accuse Pavelić of cowardice for fleeing. In fear of the advancing communists, Croatian soldiers and a large number of civilians retreated to Austria. Of the more than 100,000 Croats in retreat, at least 100,000 were killed by Partisans during the Bleiburg massacre
Bleiburg massacre
The Bleiburg massacre, which also encompasses Operation Keelhaul is a term encompassing events that took place during mid-May 1945 near the Carinthian town of Bleiburg, itself some four kilometres from the Austrian-Slovenian border....

 in mid-May 1945. Aware that the same fate might befall him, Pavelić sent his family to Austria in late 1944. He joined them afterwards and they lived in the American Occupational Zone for short time. Although Pavelić reported himself to American intelligence, neither they nor their British counterparts arrested him despite being aware of his location.
Pavelić moved to Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, where according to de-classified US Intelligence documents he was hidden by members of the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

. The Americans still made no move to arrest him. Tito
Josip Broz Tito
Marshal Josip Broz Tito – 4 May 1980) was a Yugoslav revolutionary and statesman. While his presidency has been criticized as authoritarian, Tito was a popular public figure both in Yugoslavia and abroad, viewed as a unifying symbol for the nations of the Yugoslav federation...

 and his new communist government accused the Catholic Church of harboring Pavelić who, along with the Anglo-American "imperialists" wanted to "revive Nazism" and take over communist Eastern Europe. The accusations were not entirely without foundation given Anglo-American Intelligence use of former fascists and Nazis, including Pavelić, as agents against the communists.

War crimes

As leader of The Independent State of Croatia, Pavelić was responsible for a campaign of terror against Serbs, Jews, Gypsies, and anti-fascist Croats. For its size Pavelić's Ustaše regime was the most murderous in Axis-occupied Europe. Numerous testimonies from the Nuremberg Trials
Nuremberg Trials
The Nuremberg Trials were a series of military tribunals, held by the victorious Allied forces of World War II, most notable for the prosecution of prominent members of the political, military, and economic leadership of the defeated Nazi Germany....

 along with records in German, Italian and Austrian war archives, bear witness to atrocities perpetrated against the civilian population.

Serbian, Jewish, and Gypsy men, women, and children were literally hacked to death. Whole villages were razed to the ground and people driven into barns which the Ustaše then set on fire. General Edmund von Glaise-Horstenau
Edmund Glaise-Horstenau
Edmund Glaise-Horstenau was an Austrian officer in the Bundesheer, last Vice-Chancellor of Austria before the 1938 Anschluss, and general in the German Wehrmacht during the Second World War.- Life :Born in Braunau am Inn the son of an officer, Glaise-Horstenau attended the Theresian Military...

 reported to the German Army Command OKW on June 28, 1941:
On July 10, General Glaise-Horstenau added:
A report to Gestapo chief Heinrich Himmler
Heinrich Himmler
Heinrich Luitpold Himmler was Reichsführer of the SS, a military commander, and a leading member of the Nazi Party. As Chief of the German Police and the Minister of the Interior from 1943, Himmler oversaw all internal and external police and security forces, including the Gestapo...

 dated 17 February 1942 on increased Partisan activities stated that "Increased activity of the bands is chiefly due to atrocities carried out by Ustaše units in Croatia against the Orthodox population." The Ustaše committed their deeds in a bestial manner not only against males of conscript age, but especially against helpless old people, women and children.

Pavelić's regime was not officially recognized by the Vatican
Holy See
The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope. It is the preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church. As such, diplomatically, and in other spheres the Holy See acts and...

, but the Church never condemned the genocide and forced conversions to Catholicism perpetrated by the Ustaše. Soon after coming to power in April 1941, Pavelić was given a private audience in Rome by Pope Pius XII
Pope Pius XII
The Venerable Pope Pius XII , born Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli , reigned as Pope, head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of Vatican City State, from 2 March 1939 until his death in 1958....

, an act for which the Pope was widely criticized.

Between 197,000–217,000 Serbs were killed in the Independent State of Croatia by the Ustaše and their Axis allies. Both Jews and Gypsies were subject to a policy of total annihilation. According to an official Yugoslav report, only 1,500 out of 30,000 Croatian Jews remained alive at the end of Word War II. Approximately 26,000 Gypsies were murdered by the Ustaše in the Independent State of Croatia. There were approximately 40,000 Gypsies living within the borders of the Independent State of Croatia.

Post-war

Following the end of World War II, Pavelić hid in a Jesuit monastery near Napoli in Italy. In the autumn of 1948 he met Krunoslav Draganović
Krunoslav Draganovic
Krunoslav Stjepan Draganović was a Croatian Roman Catholic priest and historian who is accused as being one of the main organisers of the ratlines which aided the escape of Nazi war criminals from Europe after World War II.-Biography:Draganović was from Travnik...

, a Roman Catholic priest, who helped him obtain a Red Cross passport in the Hungarian name of Pale Aranios. Draganović allegedly planned to deliver Pavelić to the Italian police, but Pavelić instead avoided capture and fled to Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

.

On arrival in Argentina on the Italian ship Sestriere on November 6, 1948, Pavelić moved into a dilapidated old house with the writer Vinko Nikolić. They did not have much money and lived very cheaply. In Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of Argentina, and the second-largest metropolitan area in South America, after São Paulo. It is located on the western shore of the estuary of the Río de la Plata, on the southeastern coast of the South American continent...

 Pavelić was greeted by his son Velimir and daughter Mirjana. Soon afterwards, his wife Maria and older daughter Višnja also arrived. Pavelić took up employment as a security advisor to Argentinian president Juan Perón
Juan Perón
Juan Domingo Perón was an Argentine military officer, and politician. Perón was three times elected as President of Argentina though he only managed to serve one full term, after serving in several government positions, including the Secretary of Labor and the Vice Presidency...

. Pavelić's arrival documents show the assumed name of Pablo Aranyos which he continued to use. In 1950 Pavelić was given amnesty
Amnesty
Amnesty is a legislative or executive act by which a state restores those who may have been guilty of an offense against it to the positions of innocent people, without changing the laws defining the offense. It includes more than pardon, in as much as it obliterates all legal remembrance of the...

 and allowed to stay in Argentina along with 34,000 other Croats, including former Nazi collaborators and those who had fled from the Allied advance. Following this, Pavelić reverted to his earlier pseudonym Antonio Serdar, and continued to live in Buenos Aires.

As for most others political immigrants in Argentina, life was hard and he had to work as a bricklayer. His best contact with the Peróns was Branko Benzon who enjoyed good relations with Evita Perón, wife of the president. Benzon remains largely unknown to the public, but he was Croatian ambassador to Germany during World War II and knew Hitler personally, which benefited Croatian-German relations. Thanks to Benzon's friendship with Evita Perón, Pavelić became the owner of an influential building company. Not long after arriving he joined the organization Hrvatski domobran
Hrvatski Domobran
Hrvatski Domobran was a Croat political organization that advocated independence for Croatia from Yugoslavia, and became associated with the Ustaše. It was founded in 1928 and took part in demonstrations in Zagreb in which it engaged in violent battles with police...

("Croatian Home Guard"). He tried to expand the activities of this organization and in 1950 Pavelić founded the Croatian Statehood Party. The party did not last long and in 1956 most Ustaše immigrants founded the Croatian Liberation Movement
Croatian Liberation Movement
The Croatian Liberation Movement is a right-wing party originally formed by Croatian emigrants and headed by former leaders of the Axis allied Independent State of Croatia in 1956.It was headed by Ante Pavelić, former leader of the NDH...

. This organization led all Croatian political statehood and combat organizations outside of the homeland which shared the same goal. All political immigrants agreed to the new organization on this on June 8, 1956. At the end of 1940s, many Ustaše split from Pavelić because they believed that Croats, now under new circumstances, needed new political direction. Many others who split from Pavelić continued to call themselves Ustaše and sought revival of the Independent State of Croatia. The most well known of these separatists was former Ustaše officer, Vjekoslav Luburić who lived in Spain. Pavelić declared his desire for the restoration of a Croatian state within what is now the Republic of Croatia
Croatia
Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina , sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the...

 along with Srem
Srem
Śrem is a town on the Warta river in central Poland. It has been situated in the Greater Poland Voivodeship since 1999; from 1975 to 1998 it was part of the Poznań Voivodeship...

 and Bay of Kotor
Bay of Kotor
The Bay of Kotor in south-western Montenegro is a winding bay on the Adriatic Sea. The bay, sometimes called Europe's southernmost fjord, is in fact a submerged river canyon of the disintegrated Bokelj River which used to run from the high mountain plateaus of Mount Orjen...

. In 1954 Pavelić met with former Yugoslav Prime Minister Milan Stojadinović
Milan Stojadinovic
Milan Stojadinović was a Yugoslav political figure and a noted economist.Stojadinović was born in Čačak in central Serbia, and went to school in Užice and Kragujevac. In 1910 he graduated from the University of Belgrade's Law School, and gained a Ph.D. in economics in 1911...

 and together they made new a plan for the demarkation of Croatia and Serbia. It is not known on what they agreed, but a map shown in some Argentinian newspapers at the time showed the border as the Drina
Drina
The Drina is a 346 kilometer long river, which forms most of the border between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. It is the longest tributary of the Sava River and the longest karst river in the Dinaric Alps which belongs to the Danube river watershed...

 river. Pavelić often reported to Croats in exile and sent various propaganda messages. The communist government in Yugoslavia demanded extradition of Pavelić from Argentina a few times, requests that, for various reasons, were always denied.

With the fall of Perón, Pavelić along with the other Ustaše immigrants no longer had the protection of the Argentinian government and their security was threatened by increased activity on the part of Yugoslavian intelligence (UDBA). On April 10, 1957, the 16th anniversary of the founding of the Independent State of Croatia, Pavelić was shot in the back and seriously wounded when getting off a bus in El Palomar near Buenos Aires. Although the assailant remains unknown, the attempt is usually attributed to Yugoslavian intelligence. Despite the bullet lodging in his spine, Pavelić elected not to be hospitalized. Two weeks after the shooting, the Argentine authorities agreed to grant the Yugoslav government's request to extradite
Extradition
Extradition is the official process whereby one nation or state surrenders a suspected or convicted criminal to another nation or state. Between nation states, extradition is regulated by treaties...

 Pavelić, but he went into hiding beforehand. At the end of 1957 Pavelić flew to Spain from Chile. Although reports circulated that Pavelić had fled to Paraguay to work for the Stroessner
Alfredo Stroessner
Alfredo Stroessner Matiauda, whose name is also spelled Strössner or Strößner , was a Paraguayan military officer and dictator from 1954 to 1989...

 regime, his whereabouts remained unknown until late 1959, when it was learned that he had been granted asylum in Spain. He settled in Madrid from where he continued his contacts with supporters all over the world. In Spain, Pavelić lived secretly with his family, probably by agreement with the Spanish authorities, but he was not granted citizenship. Ante Pavelić died in Madrid on December 28, 1959 at the German hospital aged 70, reportedly from complications due to the bullet still lodged in his spine. He is buried in the San Isidro Cemetery, the oldest private burial ground in Madrid.

Sources

  • Edmond Paris: Genocide in Satellite Croatia, The American Institute for Balkan Affairs, Chicago, Illinois. Published in 1961, 1962, 1990

  • Encyclopædia Britannica, 1943 - Book of the year, page 215, Entry: Croatia
  • Encyclopædia Britannica, Edition 1991, Macropedia, Vol. 29, page 1111.

Further reading

  • Ruchala, Cali. "Lord of the Danse Macabre: Ante Pavelic and the Independent State of Croatia", Degenerate Magazine © 1996

External links

  • Ante Pavelić biography at Biografije.org
  • Tied up in the Rat Lines, by Yossi Melman
    Yossi Melman
    Yossi Melman is an Israeli writer and journalist.Yossi Melman graduated from Hebrew University of Jerusalem and was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University...

    , Haaretz
    Haaretz
    Haaretz is Israel's oldest daily newspaper. It was founded in 1918 and is now published in both Hebrew and English in Berliner format. The English edition is published and sold together with the International Herald Tribune. Both Hebrew and English editions can be read on the Internet...

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