In Croatia, the Nazis also achieved their "solution".
The puppet state of Croatia was created in great haste on April 10,
1941, after Yugoslavia was crushed... By April 16, the most important
offices had been filled and Ante Pavelic, founder of the terrorist
Ustasha movement and instigator of the assassination of the former
Yugoslav King Alexander, became the head of state. Fascist Croatia
had been created and guaranteed not only by Germany but by Italy as
well. However, the two occupying powers never completely controlled
The precise boundaries dividing Italian and German spheres of
influence in Croatia were never clearly drawn. The Italian occupation
zone included almost half of Croatia proper, Dalmatia and Montenegro;
part of this area was officially annexed by Italy...
The Ustashi were fanatics
bent on the destruction of both Serbs and
Jews. The movement was formed at the end of World War I
to protest the union of Serbia and Croatia. During the interwar period
of exile in Italy and Hungary, the Ustashi perpetrated acts of sabotage
and political assassination while awaiting the day of reckoning. When
unleashed after April 1941, the
Ustashi murdered and tortured Jews and Serbs in indescribably bestial
fashion. One of the
most notorious camps in Hitler's Europe, Jasenovac, was in Croatia.
Here the Ustashi used primitive implements in putting their victims
to death - knives, axes, hammers and other iron tools.
A characteristic method was binding pairs of prisoners, back to
back, and then throwing them into the Sava River. One source estimates
that 770,000 Serbs, 40,000 Gypsies and 20,000 Jews were done to death
in the Jasenovac camp.
The new Croat [Ustasha]
Government lost no time in introducing anti-Jewish measures. On
April 30, a definition of the term "Jew" was framed and within a
short time the government enacted all the measures which German
experts had toiled over for eight years...
The economic destruction of the 30,000 Croat Jews came
swiftly within the first few months. A wave of massacres then
struck the Jews in the summer of 1941. Survivors were sent to
the three labor-extermination camps of Jasenovac, Laborgrad and
Pag Island, north of Zadar, and to the salt mines at Karlovac and
There remained only one problem: about 5,000 Jews lived in
the Italian-occupied zone of Croatia where none of the anti-Jewish
laws had yet been applied. There, as in southern France and Greece,
the Germans tried to goad the Italians into action against the Jews
but failed. General Mario Roatta, the commanding general in the
Italian Military Zone II, centered around Dubrovnik and Mostar,
was especially obdurate. He had promised equal treatment to all [!]
inhabitants under his jurisdiction, refusing even to evict Jewish
tenants from their apartments to make room for the German Todt
Organization. His explanation was simply that anti-Jewish measures
were "incompatible with the honor of the Italian Army."...
The Italians flatly refused to surrender any Jews. After fall
of Mussolini, a representative in the Foreign Ministry of the Badoglio
Government urged General Roatta not to surrender the Croatian Jews
under any circumstances. In September 1943, however, after the Italian
armstice, the Italian zone disappeared altogether. Some Jew went into
hiding; other joined Tito's partisans (a detachment in the fourth
Partisan Brigade won special distinction),...
In April 1944, Kasche made a final report to Berlin, in which
he declared that the Jewish question in Croatia had been solved except
for three categories: honorary Aryans, Jews in mixed marriages
and Mischlinge the same groups that could not be completely
erased in the Reich itself. In the meantime, Pavelic had had his
hands full dealing with partisans who raged throughout Croatia from
Zemun [suburb of Belgrade] to Zagreb. The
Ustashi fought them with savage inhumanity, making a common practice
of gorging out their eyes and collecting them in wicker baskets.
But Pavelic's power shrank as the partisan movement swelled and German
victory receded. By the spring of 1944, when he visited Hitler in
Klessheim, his power had become so restricted that he was known
derisively as "the Mayor of Zagreb."...