Biography of Ante Pavelic (1889-1958)

Croatian politician, born on July 14, 1889 in Bradina (Bosnia) and died on December 28, 1958 in Madrid. He/She was head of the Croatian State implemented by Germany and Italy in the second world war and founder of the party Croatian nationalist Ustaše.

Pavelic studied law and began his working career as a lawyer in Zagreb; within his profession, he/she became Vice President of the Association of lawyers of Croatia. Pavelic became a part of the nationalist movement Croatian within the ranks of the party of the right constitutional Croatian, whereby he/she was elected Councillor of Zagreb in 1920, and national Deputy in 1927. In the Yugoslav Parliament is opposed to the growing centralization of the Government and the oppression by the Serbian Crown; until in January 1929 King Alejandro established a dictatorship under the monarchy and dissolved the Parliament.

After this event and the outlawing of Croat parties, Pavelic took refuge in Italy and formed the Ustasa-Hrvatska Revolucionarna Organizacija (Croatian revolutionary organization, insurgent) in order to organize the revolutionary action and restore the independence of Croatia. At the beginning of the 1930s, the ustashi movement had about 2,000 members and it did not have a clear ideology, but it was rather a terrorist organization operating mainly in exile, with base and, in some cases support, in Italy, Germany, Austria, Bulgaria and Hungary, countries demanding the revision of the peace treaties signed after the first world war. In 1932, Pavelic, in his role as leader of the ustachas, wrote a Charter of principles, which declared as goal the independence of the Croatian State via an armed this revolution people, which should be headed by the own ustachas which would deal with the new State Government. Pavelic, as well as the other leaders of the ustachas movement and other Croatian leaders in exile, was, during this time of assassination attempts perpetrated by agents of the Yugoslav dictatorship. Events led to the assassination in Marseilles, on October 9, 1934, Alejandro rey and the Minister of Foreign Affairs French at the hands of the ustachas, in collaboration with Macedonian terrorists.

After this incident, Pavelic tried to win the support of the peasant party frustradamente, majority force in Croatia, which caused a rupture of Pavelic with all moderate Croats and proposed a twist toward positions close to fascism and anti-Semitic. Party had also lost their support due, primarily, to the murder of King Alejandro abroad and, approximately, around five hundred activists were arrested abroad, including Pavelic who was arrested in Italy but in a rather testimonial way. During the years of detention, between 1936 and 1937, Pavelic continued outlining the ideological lines of the ustachas movement, identifying it more and more with fascist and racist tendencies, advocating a Croatian formula of national-Catholicism. The ustashi movement gained more momentum and, following the signing of the commitment of August 1939 by which the Croats gained self-government, except in defense and Foreign Affairs, told with thirty or forty thousand affiliates clandestine in Yugoslavia and a broad representation of exiled in Germany.

The defeat of Yugoslavia during the II World War in April 1941 by the German army, opened the way for the independence of Croatia. Part of Croatia was annexed by Italy and Hungary, and the rest, was occupied by Germany and Italy, allowing the creation, together with Bosnia and Herzegovina and a part of Dalmatia, of the independent State of Croatia (NDH). His Government was offered in the first instance to Vladko Macek, head of the Croatian peasant party conservative, but following the resignation of this, Hitler decided to grant the power to Ante Pavelic (who was released from his confinement in Italy) and the ustashi. Pavelic became Poglavnik (President) of the independent State of Croatia introduced a one-party regime and outlawing the former majority party, the peasant party. The number of followers of Pavelic and the ustachas grew after the incorporation of thousands of followers of the peasant party, but, above all, among the population of the urban lower class, students and Croat intellectuals and practitioners and belonging to the nationalist Catholic prelates. Pavelic also proceeded to form its own elite corps, consisting of about one hundred fifty thousand military ustachas.

The main opposition to the fascist regime of Pavelic were Communist partisans of the National Liberation Army, led by the Croatian Josip Broz Tito. The more store feature of the Pavelic regime was the bloody attempt to create an ethnically pure Croatia, which led to the persecution and extermination of all ethnic minority or opposing his regime. These persecutions were mainly focused on Orthodox Serbs, who at the time of the independence of Croatia is estimated at more than 20% of the population, close to a million people. At first, were forced to flee the country or converted to Catholicism to, subsequently, proceed to commit killings, mass murders and confinements in concentration camps (the number of these concentration camps was coded in over twenty, among which stood out of Jasenovac). All these activities against the Orthodox had the approval of the clergy. The final number of Orthodox Serbs killed during this period is estimated at approximately 250000. Another group who particularly suffered persecutions of Pavelic were Jews, exterminated from Croatia in its vast majority, causing about 30,000 or 40,000 dead, while a small number managed to take refuge fleeing to the Italian zone. Also the massacres and murders reached Gypsies, Communists, as well as other political dissidents and one step lower, to the Bosnian Muslims.

After the defeat of Germany in the war, in May 1945, an army composed of 150,000 Croatian soldiers under the command of German forces tried vainly to offer the last resistance in Croatia to the Yugoslav army. After his surrender, Pavelic left Croatia, refuge temporarily in Austria and Italy. Most of his followers were killed in combat or executed after the defeat. In 1949, he/she escaped to Argentina, where he/she founded a ustaše Government in exile. In this period, a new attempted murder failed and in 1957 decided to take refuge in Paraguay where, to prevent his arrest and extradition after being sentenced to death in absentia, escaped to Spain, where he/she remained until his death at the end of 1958.