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  • Contemporary History (Post 1945)
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A paramilitary organization founded in 1929 in response to the discriminatory rule by King Alexander I, in order to assert the rights of the Croatian people in a Serb‐dominated state. In 1934, together with Macedonian terrorists it was successful in organizing Alexander's assassination. Led by Ante Pavelic, it welcomed the Nazi occupation of Yugoslavia, and collaborated fully with this. It established ‘The Independent State of Croatia’, to which the Serbian minority in Croatia was forced to assimilate, e.g. through conversion to Catholicism. Moreover, thousands of Serbs were raped and murdered. When the Ustase regime collapsed after German withdrawal, it was now the turn of the Communists (popularly associated with Serbia, even though they were led by Tito) to commit mass killings of Ustase members and those suspected of cooperation. The Ustase terror was one of the reasons for the bitter tension between Croats and Serbs in general, and for the Serbian Croat minority living in Croatia in particular, whose popular memory of the atrocities survived well into the 1990s.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945) — Military History.

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