Resistance to the Persecution of Ethnic Minorities in Croatia and Bosnia During World War II

Author: Adeli, Lisa M.
During World War II, the Croatian ultra-nationalist Ustaa persecuted nearly two million Serbs, Jews, and Roma in the Independent State of Croatia (present-day Croatia and Bosnia). Political analysts today often cite this genocide as proof that ethnic violence within the region is inevitable. However, an equally important reality is that within just four years, Ustaa excesses had provoked a widespread popular reaction against the violence and the national exclusivity that inspired it.


“Adeli found valuable microcopies of testimony to support her account at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC. Also important were primary sources held in the Hoover Institute of War, Revolution, and Peace at Stanford University in California as well as in published eyewitness reports, documents, and newspapers. These materials enabled her withal to illuminate the ideals of Yugoslavisrn in Croatia and Bosnia coupled with Panslavism and Croatia’s militant Partisans, who opposed the pro-Serbian Cetnici.” – Prof. Frederick Kellogg, University of Arizona

“. . . does nothing less than, on the basis of extraordinary evidence culled from never-previously- examined materials of the Holocaust Museum, make the case that human decency and solidarity can sometimes trump the passions of virulent extremist nationalism. Arguing against past and current apologists for the notion that different ethnic groups cannot coexist peaceably within a single state, Adeli shows that within the genocidal crucible of the wartime “Independent State of Croatia,” a partisan movement of Croats, Muslims, Jews, Serbs, Roma, Volksdeutsch and Hungarians emerged dedicated to the idea that common humanity was more important than ethnic difference.” – Prof. Douglas R. Weiner, University of Arizona

Table of Contents

Preface by Frederick Kellogg
1. Background
2. The Formation of the Independent State of Croatia and the Persecution of Ethnic Minorities
3. Reaction against the Persecution of Minority Groups in the Independent State of Croatia
4. The Growth of Interethnic Cooperation in the Camps
5. The Discrediting of Pre-War Political Forces and Alternatives to Yugoslavism
6. The Impact of Italian and German Policies on Ethnic Relations within the Independent State of Croatia
7. The Expansion of Yugoslavism and the Partisan Movement in the Camps
8. The Impact of Ethnic Persecution in the Independent State of Croatia on the Partisan Movement
9. Conclusion