[Article] Religion and Nation in Wartime Croatia: by Mark Biondich

By Mark Biondich

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Additional info for [Article] Religion and Nation in Wartime Croatia: Reflections on the Ustaša Policy of Forced Religious Conversions, 1941-1942

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These Ustase were seemingly never won over to the policy of conversion, and therefore reprisals against converted Serbs continued with impunity well after September 194I. Juricev's December circular was essentially a failed attempt to rein in these elements. While some Ustasa officials continued to persecute Serbs or refused to approve their requests for permission to convert, many Croatian civilian officials simply appeared indifferent to the policy, which also undoubtedly contributed to the low conversion rate in some regions.

I65-75; M. Hadzijahic, 'Muslimanske rezolucije iz I94I. godine', in I94I. U istorij narodaBosne i Hercegovine,pp. 275-82, and Enver Redzic, MuslimanskoautonomaRtvo i I3. SS Bosnei Hercegovine i HitlerovTreliRajh, Sarajevo, I987, pp. I6-20. diviz4a:Autonom#ja 131 ZborniklNOR, IV, 2, Doc. I93, p. 541. 132 Kvaternik, Sjecanja i zapazfanja, p. 285. 133 The text of Pavelics speech can be found in 'Velike smjernice hrvatske drzavne politike', Hrvatskinarod,i March 1942, p. 3. For the standard interpretation that this speech presaged a policy shift for the regime, see Jelic-Butic, UstageiNDH, p.

For the Ustase, Catholicism was really neither a goal in itself nor even a particularly effective mobilizing ideology in most of Croatia; rather it was an instrument designed to strengthen the nascent Croatian state through the elimination of the Serb Question. In this respect, Croatian Fascism differed from the Hlinka movement in Slovakia, which was genuinely Catholic and led by priests, and the Legion of the Archangel Michael in Romania, which employed religious mysticism and elaborate ritual in its ideology.

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