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The Ustasa movement and European politics, 1929-1945

The Ustasa movement and European politics, 1929-1945
The Ustasa movement and European politics, 1929-1945

Ever since its creation in 1918 Yugoslavia has been beset by serious national problems, which often threatened its survival. From the beginning the most serious disputes concerned the Serb-Croat relationship. Separatist tendencies among Croats were rooted in a peculiar strain of their political tradition, based on the notion of Croatia's `Rights of State' and on an insistence on the allegedly insurmountable differences between them and the Serbs. Such tendencies found their most extreme manifestation in the Ustasa (`Insurgent') movement, founded by lawyer and politician Ante Pavelic (1889-1959). Its history began with Pavelic's exile in 1929, and ended - to all intents and purposes - with the collapse of the Axis-sponsored `Independent State of Croatia' (Nezavisna Drzava Hrvatska, NDH) in May 1945. Besides tracing the origins of the Ustasa movement, both in the body-politic of Croatia and in the events surrounding the establishment and early years of the Yugoslav state, this thesis seeks to place that movement in the European political context of its time (particularly with reference to the `native Fascisms' of Central-Eastern Europe in the 1930s), and to Pavelic's contacts with Italy and other foreign factors. The complex and ambivalent relationship between Rome and Berlin is the key to understanding their curious condominium established in Croatia after the collapse of Yugoslavia in April 1941. At the same time, anti-Serb genocidal zeal of the Ustasas had the effect of fanning insurgency all over the country. It also contributed to the progressive alienation from Pavelic of the Italians and (to a lesser extent) the Germans. The Ustasas' chief contribution to the European political and military scene in the early 1940s was, ironically, to disrupt the cause of the Axis by pursuing a course detrimental to any lasting consolidation of their country. However, there was also a constant strain in Hitler's Balkan policy which sought to prevent any such consolidation. External relations of the NDH are also examined, asking whether Pavelic could be regarded as an autonomous actor in terms of foreign policy analysis. Only brief attention is paid to the last twenty months of the war: by that time Pavelic was reduced to a mere satellite, irrevocably tied to the doomed Nazi bandwagon. Accordingly, his movement's impact on `European politics' was totally marginal after September 1943.

University of Southampton
Trifković, Srdjan
b8c8512d-8201-4c2a-a1ac-51ee23dc1022
Trifković, Srdjan
b8c8512d-8201-4c2a-a1ac-51ee23dc1022

Trifković, Srdjan (1990) The Ustasa movement and European politics, 1929-1945. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

Ever since its creation in 1918 Yugoslavia has been beset by serious national problems, which often threatened its survival. From the beginning the most serious disputes concerned the Serb-Croat relationship. Separatist tendencies among Croats were rooted in a peculiar strain of their political tradition, based on the notion of Croatia's `Rights of State' and on an insistence on the allegedly insurmountable differences between them and the Serbs. Such tendencies found their most extreme manifestation in the Ustasa (`Insurgent') movement, founded by lawyer and politician Ante Pavelic (1889-1959). Its history began with Pavelic's exile in 1929, and ended - to all intents and purposes - with the collapse of the Axis-sponsored `Independent State of Croatia' (Nezavisna Drzava Hrvatska, NDH) in May 1945. Besides tracing the origins of the Ustasa movement, both in the body-politic of Croatia and in the events surrounding the establishment and early years of the Yugoslav state, this thesis seeks to place that movement in the European political context of its time (particularly with reference to the `native Fascisms' of Central-Eastern Europe in the 1930s), and to Pavelic's contacts with Italy and other foreign factors. The complex and ambivalent relationship between Rome and Berlin is the key to understanding their curious condominium established in Croatia after the collapse of Yugoslavia in April 1941. At the same time, anti-Serb genocidal zeal of the Ustasas had the effect of fanning insurgency all over the country. It also contributed to the progressive alienation from Pavelic of the Italians and (to a lesser extent) the Germans. The Ustasas' chief contribution to the European political and military scene in the early 1940s was, ironically, to disrupt the cause of the Axis by pursuing a course detrimental to any lasting consolidation of their country. However, there was also a constant strain in Hitler's Balkan policy which sought to prevent any such consolidation. External relations of the NDH are also examined, asking whether Pavelic could be regarded as an autonomous actor in terms of foreign policy analysis. Only brief attention is paid to the last twenty months of the war: by that time Pavelic was reduced to a mere satellite, irrevocably tied to the doomed Nazi bandwagon. Accordingly, his movement's impact on `European politics' was totally marginal after September 1943.

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Published date: 1990

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 461886
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/461886
PURE UUID: d7d15d09-5ed8-46bd-967e-6c173ecc82aa

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Date deposited: 04 Jul 2022 18:57
Last modified: 23 Jul 2022 00:34

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Author: Srdjan Trifković

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