During World War II an extremist Croatian movement, known as the Ustashe, began as an interwar terrorist organization. It then adopted fascist guidelines and aligned with German and Italian occupation forces. The Ustashe, which means "rebellion", performed acts of genocide against Serbs, Muslims, Jews, and other minorities in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
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The history of the Ustashe dates back to the German occupation of Yugoslavia during the war. In response to the invasion, communist uprisings began throughout the nation. The leader of the revolt towards communism in Yugoslavia was Josip Broz Tito . While the revolts were going on, Germany was partitioning the country. The remaining part of Croatia together with Bosnia-Hercegovina was made into "the independent state of Croatia," which was, in theory, a kingdom to be ruled by an Italian Prince, the Duke of Spoleto. The prince never took over his kingdom and instead the state was ruled by Ante Pavelic, leader of the Croatian Fascist movement - the Ustashe. Pavelic was supported by German and Italian arms. His reign of terror was made up of acts that were as evil as any other during World War II. Jews, Serbs, and anyone else who refused to accept the new state were exterminated by means of bullets, axes, knives, and chainsaws. Orthodox Christians were converted to Roman Catholicism or murdered.
In September of 1944, the Yugoslavian communist leader Tito secretly went to Moscow and arranged for Soviet troops to enter his country. Part of the agreement that Tito requested was that as the Red Army passed through Yugoslavia, they should crush remaining Germans and the Ustashe forces. Ustashe leaders immediately fled to Austria. Between 1945 and 1948, the government began to punish wartime criminals. British forces in Austria captured Ustashe members, returning them to Yugoslavia where they were executed.