Ante Pavelic

Ante Pavelic ( Bradina , municipality of Konjic , Bosnia and Herzegovina , 14 of July of 1889 – Madrid , Spain , 28 of December of 1959 ) was a politician and dictator Croatian leader and founding member of the terrorist group Fascist Revolutionary Uprising Movement Croatian Ustaša (In Croatian, “rebels” or “uprisings”) in the 1930s and later “caudillo” or poglavnik of the Independent State of Croatia ( puppet state and collaborator with the Axis ).


Pavelic was born in Bradina , 2 3 in northern Herzegovina , the 14 of July of 1889 , three then territory under occupation of the Austro – Hungarian Empire . 4His parents came from the nearby region of Lika and his father had emigrated to Bosnia after the transfer of the province to Austro-Hungarian control in 1878 . 2 His father was foreman of the state railroads. 1 He received an irregular education in different schools, due to the constant transfers of his father. 1

He started working on the Bosnian railways. 1 Later, upon reaching adulthood, Pavelić decided to move to Zagreb to study law , graduating from his University of Zagreb in 1918 . 4 1 Having joined a Croatian nationalist group, in 1912 he was arrested by the Austro-Hungarian authorities. 1 After graduation, he began to work as a lawyer. 1

In his youth he became a member of the Pure Party for Rights , 1 whose members were also known as Frankovci , the founder of the party and follower of Ante Starčević (father of modern Croatian nationalism), Josip Frank , 4 who defended the independence of a ‘Great Croatia’. 1 In 1918 he was elected secretary of the party. 1

In 1922 was chosen councilman of the City council of Zagreb; In 1927 , deputy of the Yugoslav National Parliament. 1 was one of only two representatives of his party in the Skupstina (the royalist parliament Yugoslavia ), 5 but rarely attended their meetings and, when I decided to do, is apoltronaba in his seat and just barged occasionally with a long harangue of protest Against some measure that did not approve. [ Citation needed ] He advocated strongly for the independence of Croatia regarding Yugoslavia . 1

In the 1920s Pavelić began networking with Croatian emigrants in Vienna and Budapest ; Later reached an agreement with the Macedonian independence group VMRO . [ Citation needed ] In 1927 he acted as counselor for the defense of the Macedonians in the trials that were brought to them in Skopje . [ Citation needed ]

In 1927 he was reelected councilman. 5 There he made his first notable speech, calling on all Croatian deputies to unite in the attainment of Croatia ‘s independence . 4 In the summer of that year he began his contacts with Italy on the Croatian problem, presenting a report to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Rome , in which he proposed the formation of an independent Croatian State with Italian help. 6 7 On the occasion of Pavelić’s visit to Paris as a member of the Zagreb delegation to the Congress of Cities held there, he took the opportunity to meet with various anti-Yugoslav emigres. 5 He began to weigh the beginning of a campaign in favor of the Croatian independence with the support of nations hostile to Yugoslavia. Referring to Fig.

The decades of 1920 and 1930

The dictatorship of the king Alexander

Escape abroad

Shortly after the proclamation of the dictatorship of King Alexander I of Yugoslavia the 19 of January of 1929 , 8 Pavelic, and prominent opponent and champion of Croatian independence, fled to Vienna taunting police surveillance 4 9 October 1 in August and was sentenced later To death 1 for rebellion in Belgrade to participate in the anti-Jewish demonstrations organized in Sofia by the Bulgarian and Macedonian rebels, 11 12 in April 1929, in which he signed an anti-Yugoslav manifesto. 12 Pavelić and another of his associates were convicted under the state protection law as guilty of high treason and sedition. 12 In Austria he was joined by other figures of the Party for the Rights of which Pavelić had been a deputy. 8 After his return from Bulgaria and the protests of the Government of Belgrade, the Austrian authorities forbade him to return. 12 After trying to obtain a Hungarian visa in vain, he went to Germany, where he was again rejected and forced to leave the country. 12 Before leaving Munich, he contacted the Italians, who granted him a visa and organized his transfer to Verona . 12 10 1

Settlement in Italy and international relations

Shortly afterwards he founded the nationalist organization Ustaše (the “uprising” or “insurgents”), with Italian help. 4 12 With subsidies from Italy and a small network of collaborators from his old party began to form his new organization; 12 had already offered territorial concessions to Italy on the Dalmatian coast and Bosnia-Hercegovina in return for their support. 4

His relations with the Hungarian government, also revisionist, improved over time. 13 From the refusal to grant him residence in 1929 the Budapest Government went on to allow the settlement of a Ustacha cell, first in Pecs and later in the isolated farm of Janka Puszta, near the Yugoslav border. 13 The protests of the Yugoslav Government, informed by its counter-espionage from Vienna, to the Hungarian were useless. 13 In March 1933 the Hungarian Foreign Minister organized the meeting between Pavelić and the leader of the Albanian ‘Kosovo’ committee, which resulted in a commitment by the two organizations to cooperate with the Belgrade Government. 13 Pavelić, however, failed to reach an agreement between the Albanian nationalists and the Macedonians of OIRM over the differences between the two groups over the territorial division of Macedonia. 13 In July 1933, the Hungarian Revisionist League, contrary to the Versailles peace treaties, signed an agreement with Pavelić. 14 Pavelić undertook to accept a plebiscite in the region of Međimurje , Hungarian until 1918 but Yugoslav since then, as well as the future Hungarian annexation of the southern Croatian Baranya . 14 As in the Italian case in 1927, Pavelić was willing to cede territory of Croatian population in exchange for foreign support. 14 The Hungarian objective was the use of Pavelić’s organization to destabilize Yugoslavia, although relations between Pavelić and the Hungarian authorities were limited, at least until 1933, to the Magyar military, without the Government’s knowledge. 14

In Italy, Pavelić and his associates were closely monitored by Interior Ministry and police officers who monitored their supply, funding and training of the organization’s recruits. 14 The Italians saw the Ustachas as an auxiliary instrument of their foreign policy, without any autonomy from Mussolini ‘s decisions . 14

Beginnings of the organization and relations with the HSS

During his exile he had talks with the Croatian Peasant Party (HSS) with which he maintained increasingly cold relations, until his break in 1935, due to the formation of the “United Opposition,” a political alliance between the HSS and various opposing Serbian parties To the royal dictatorship. 6

By the end of 1931, Pavelić had already managed to assemble a number of volunteers. 15 Some of them were Croatian workers emigrated in European countries, convinced of the imminence of the revolt in Croatia against the royal dictatorship. 15 The first training camp was established in Bovegno in the winter of 1931-1932. fifteen

In 1932 he began to publish a Party newspaper, Ustaša, vijesnik hrvatskih revolucionara ( The Insurrect: the herald of the Croatian revolutionaries ) and in June 1933 published the Principles of the Ustaša movement . 4 15 These, along with the organization’s statutes, drafted in 1932, constituted the formal foundations of the organization. 15 In them he defended a position of national exclusivity: any territory populated at that time or in the past by Croats was considered Croatian and no other community had the right to settle there. 4 It rejected any possibility of forming a common state with the other Slavic communities. 4 From the beginning, the movement was deeply hostile to the Serbs and encouraged violence. 4 Its objective was the attainment of the Croatian independence by means of the dissolution of the Yugoslav State through the terrorism and the armed revolution. 1 While entering the organization, new recruits had to swear before a crucifix, one Granada, a knife and a pistol to defend the principles of the movement seventeen. fifteen

Pavelić himself participated in organizing the uprising of Velebit (1932) and later in the assassination of the Yugoslav monarch . 16 17

The training camps of the group were installed in Brescia and Borgotaro (in Italy ) and Janka Puszta (in Hungary ). In 1933 they took an armed attempt in which the Ustaše, armed by the Italians, tried to disembark in Croatia crossing the Adriatic Sea in barges. This plan failed, but the group conceived the idea of assassinating King Alexander, which a few months later materialize, after a failed attempt in December 1933. Alexander I was assassinated in Marseilles on 9 of October of 1934 along with Minister French Foreign Affairs Louis Barthou . 18

The singular lack of armed protection to the Yugoslav monarch and the weak security precautions when the risk of a assassination was well known to seem to be linked to Pavelić’s conspiracy, who could have allegedly bribed some senior official close to the king to fulfill his plan . [ Citation needed ] The prefect of the Marseille police was subsequently removed from office. [ Citation needed ] Eugen Kvaternik, Pavelic young assistant and organizer of the attack and Pavelic himself were sentenced to death in absentia by the French authorities. 18

Faced with the international scandal, Pavelić and his men were arrested in Turin just a couple of weeks after the king’s assassination. 18 He was locked in Turin from October 1934 until March 1936, when he was released, his followers were interned on the islands of Lipari . 17 18

The Regency of Prince Pablo

After the assassination of the Yugoslav sovereign, the international pressure caused that Mussolini had to distance himself publicly from the organization of Pavelić; Many of its members spent the seven years prior to the Invasion of Yugoslavia interned on the remote Lipari Islands , north of Sicily . 19 After his release in 1936, Pavelić moved to Salerno. 17

After the italo-Yugoslav bilateral agreement of 1937, it was reincorporated, this time in Siena , although with a generous subsidy of the Italian Government . 17 1 His followers were again arrested in Lipari and Sardinia. 17

World War II

See also: Independent State of Croatia

Creation of the Croatian State

Following the resignation of Prime Minister Milan Stojadinovic at the beginning of 1939, Mussolini again pondered the idea of ​​reactivating the Ustachas, meeting with Pavelić in January 1940 and again in May. 20 German opposition to Italian plans against Yugoslavia thwarted the meeting of the Ustachas until April 1941. 20 After the German decision to attack Yugoslavia after the coup of March 27, 1941 , Pavelić reconvened with Mussolini and confirmed his Willingness to cede part of Dalmatia to Italy in return for his support to seize power in an independent Croatia, an assignment that concealed his supporters, opposed to them. 21 The 6 of April of 1941 , forces of the Wehrmacht and other allies invaded Yugoslavia. 22 Then he returned with some three hundred of his supporters along with the Italian troops invading the country; 16 22 crossed the border from Trieste along with his followers from Pistoia on 13 April. 23 Another three hundred ustachas returned to Croatia along with the other invading armies. 16 Its only outstanding contribution to the Axis campaign was the surrender of two Yugoslav regiments (about 8000 men) who surrendered their weapons without fighting. 16

On 10 April, the new Independent State of Croatia was proclaimed , 16 headed by Pavelić 22 and de facto controlled by Germany and Italy, whose institutions he reproduced. 16 Pavelić had seized power by rejecting Croatian leading politician Vladko Maček , leader of the Croatian Peasant Party , to lead a puppet government of the Axis, and thanks to the invasion of Yugoslavia by the latter. 16 Pavelić took the post of prime minister and also reserved the foreign minister of the new country in the new government formed on 16 April. 16 24 He had returned to Zagreb the day before, after interviewing German and Italian representatives. 24 The next day, on the 17th, he declared war on Britain and later did the same with the United States and the Soviet Union . 24 In May he traveled to Italy to sign the Treaties of Rome , which established formal relations between the two States and sealed the transfer of part of Dalmatia to Italy. 24

Hitler and Pavelic on 9 June as as 1941 . The continued support of Hitler allowed Pavelić to remain in power in Croatia and to face the growing hostility of the Government of Rome, the Italian and German military commanders and the growing internal opposition.

Pavelić soon established a “new order,” based on the cult of the nation, the state and its leader, himself. 16 The new state was totalitarian . 16 Pavelić controlled the main decisions of the country, 25 he was reluctant to convene the cabinet and preferred to decide his actions through private meetings with the interested parties. 19For issues of secondary importance, he did not fail to give guidelines on the course to be followed, always maintaining great control over national politics. 19

Popular at first by having achieved the creation of the new independent state, its supporters grew from about 2000 when the new nation was founded to more than 100 000 a month later. 26 Most of the Ustachas came from the lower and lower education classes, and there were many from those with mixed populations, such as the Dinaric Alps . 26

Pavelić encouraged the cult of his person, presenting himself as the “revitalizer of Croatia” and giving the impression that the independence was due exclusively to his intense work and sacrifice. 26 His title, poglavnik , was a neologism from poglavnar , the clan chief, in Croatian, a traditional figure in peasant culture, who represented a figure of authority and rigidity, reluctant to compromise. 26 The new oath of allegiance to the new State, obligatory for all officials of the country, included Pavelić as representative of national sovereignty. 27 His figure also grew by forced anonymity of most other Croatian leaders, imposed by Pavelic himself. 27

Personally, Pavelić had a capacity for attraction, both for his subordinates and for the masses, who used with great success the first months in power. 28 In propaganda, Pavelić appeared as a being devoted body and soul to Croatia, sacrificing everything for his country. 27 As in other cases, even critics of the actions of the new regime exonerated Pavelić of all responsibility, believing him ignorant of the actions that they sanctioned. 27 Given the cultivation of his subordinates, he was also a man far away and inclined to eliminate anyone who could shade him, who did not tolerate those gifted with great intelligence or personality. 29

Actions of the regime

The Pavelić dictatorship persecuted Jews, Serbs, Gypsies and the Croatian (mostly communist) opposition. 16 After having enacted anti-Semitic laws, 16 opened concentration and extermination camps 16such as the Jasenovac extermination camp , where about 600 000 people were killed. 30 While measures against Jews and Gypsies were encouraged by the Germans, they did not support attacks against the Serbian minority, which favored the growth of partisan forces . 26 Most of the regime’s atrocities were committed by former exiles with Pavelić, often of humble origin, poor regions and mixed with other communities, who had returned to the country with hate and thirst for revenge. 19 The upheavals of the Ustacha exceeded in brutality even those of the Nazis . 31

Unlike the great anti-Semitic propaganda, the regime did not develop a hostile attitude towards the Muslims, whom it tried to win for its cause and to those that considered part of the Croatian nation. 27Pavelić always addressed his troops as Catholic and Muslim and often remembered his first years of school, where all his companions were Muslims. 27

The Army of the Independent State of Croatia fought, together with the Axis forces , the resistance of Tito (communist partisans) and the Chetniks (Serbian nationalists). [ Citation needed ]

Relations between Pavelić and the Catholic Church fluctuated: satisfied at the outset by the proclamation of independence, it soon censured the atrocities of the regime. 32 There were numerous frictions between Pavelić and the archbishop of Zagreb, Aloysius Stepinac . Relations with the Vatican were very tense, but never broke . 32

The disillusionment with Pavelić and his regime soon appeared. 32 The first major discrediting the movement was the publication of the Rome agreement of 18 of maypole of 1941 by Pavelic ceded to Italy most of Dalmatia , much of the Primorje and a section of Gorski-Kotar , regions all with an overwhelming population Croatian and an insignificant Italian population. 32 Minority persecutions were also not favorably viewed by the majority of the population, who felt that they were at risk of reprisals. 32

Another reason for the smear of the Pavelić regime was the bad economic situation of the new country. 31 He was to pay the costs of the German troops stationed in his territory and part of that of the Italian troops; Moreover, Italy had deprived it of most of its coast and its shipbuilding industry, Hungary of its more developed agricultural regions, while soon partisans came to control the countryside, forest resources and communications. 31 The urban population, the main group still under the control of the regime, was oppressed by the economic needs of the regime, while many experienced real hardship and famine. 31

In the summer of 1944, in the face of a worsening situation, two of Pavelić’s ministers conspired to withdraw him from power and establish contacts with the Allies and prevent the fall of the country into the hands of Communist partisans. 31 With the German backing and the more radical Ustacha, Pavelić stifled the attempt and executed the ringleaders. 31 His regime remained faithful to the Germans until their final defeat. 31


The 6 of maypole of 1945 , he fled from Zagreb to Austria , 33 1 where he remained some months before fleeing to Rome , 31 where the Catholic Church hid despite his status as a war criminal (as evidenced in documents declassified Intelligence of the United States ). 34 Briefly detained by the British in Austria, he was released. 35 The center for aid to the exiled Ustachas in Italy was the College of San Girolamo degli Illirici, run by Croats. 36

He arrived in the Italian capital in 1946, disguised as a monk and with a Spanish passport. 37 During that year and the following year, he resided in the College of San Girolamo and other places of the city. 37 The US secret services knew who lived in Rome but were not interested in stopping any anti – Communist eastern parts of Europe due to increasing tension with the Soviet bloc. 37 After weighing his arrest, the possible loss of the sympathies of the étated ustachas caused the military authorities to desist from arresting him. 37 Six months later, in November 1948, 37 fled to Argentina , 31 38 1 in the Italian steamer Sestriere . 37 When he got there, he served as security advisor to several times President Juan Domingo Perón . Perón gave more than 34,000 visas to Croats who fled the government of Josip Broz Tito . [Citation needed ]

In April 1957 , the government of Marshal Tito tried twice to assassinate him through the Yugoslav secret services . 31 1 37 Pavelić was subsequently forced to flee Argentina to avoid arrest and extradition in January and found refuge in Spain , 38 37 then under the dictatorship of Francisco Franco and was home to many exiled fascists and Nazis from different countries. [ Citation needed ] He died in ostracism in a German hospital in Madrid on 28 December as as 1959 . 16 31 38 1 It is buried in the cemetery of San Isidro in Madrid . 39