The ideology of nation and race: the Croatian Ustasha regime and its policies toward minorities in the independent state of Croatia, 1941-1945.
KeywordsNationalism -- Europe, Central -- History -- 20th century
Ethnicity -- Europe, Central -- History -- 20th century
Ideology -- Croatia -- History -- 20th century
Minorities -- Government policy -- Croatia
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AbstractThis thesis examines the central place of racial theories in the nationalist ideology of the Croatian Ustasha movement and regime, and how these theories functioned as the chief motive in shaping Ustasha policies toward the minorities of the Nazi-backed Independent State of Croatia (known by its Croatian initials as the NDH), namely, Serbs, Jews, Roma and Bosnian Muslims, during the years 1941 to 1945. This thesis is divided into three parts. The first part deals with historical background, concentrating on the history of Croatian national movements from the 1830s to the 1930s. The second part covers the period between the founding of the Ustasha movement in 1930 and the creation of the NDH in 1941. The third part examines the period of Ustasha power from 1941 to 1945. Through the above chronological division, this thesis traces the evolution of Ustasha ideas on nation and race, placing them within the historical context of processes of Croatian national integration. Although the Ustashe were brought to power by Nazi Germany, their ideology emerged less as an imitation of German National Socialism and more as an extremist reaction to the supranational and expansionist nationalist ideologies of Yugoslavism and Greater Serbianism. In contrast to the prevailing historiographical view that has either ignored or downplayed the significance of racial theori! es on Ustasha policies toward the minorities of the NDH, this thesis highlights the marked influence of the question of 'race' on Ustasha attitudes toward the 'problem' of minorities, and on the wider question of Croatian national identity. This thesis examines the Ustashe by focusing on the historical interplay between nationalism and racism, which dominated so much of the modern political life of Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe. The fusion of nationalism and racism was not unique to Ustasha ideology, but the evolution and nature of Ustasha racism was. Ustasha racial ideas were therefore the product of both specific Croatian and wider European historical trends. This examination of the historical intersection between nationalism and racism in the case of the Ustashe will, i hope, broaden our understanding of twentieth-century nation-state formation, and state treatment of minorities, in the Balkans and Eastern Europe.