Exactly 70 years ago, in the summer of 1947, the process over the leaders of the Hitlerite satellite, Independent State of Croatia (NDH) ended in Zagreb. The crimes of the regime of the Croatian Ustasha collaborators are one of the most brutal and, at the same time, little-known pages of the Second World War outside the Balkans. On the other hand, Serbian-Croatian relations to this day are very dependent on how the governments of these countries relate to Ustaša NDH. Right now in power in Croatia, the criticism of the Ustashi is not honored, but the relationship between Croats and Serbs on the lowest point in the past fifteen years. What were the “Ustashian atrocities”, what caused them and why did the events more than seventy years ago continue to stir the hearts and minds of the inhabitants of Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina?
The story of the genocide of Serbs, Jews and Gypsies in the pro-fascist Independent State of Croatia (NDH) inevitably begins with the creation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. At the Paris Peace Conference 1919-1920. the great powers very specifically disposed of the inheritance of Austria-Hungary in the Balkans: none of the Balkan peoples who were in the Habsburg Empire granted the right to their own independent national state, all the territories inhabited by Slovenes, Croats, and Serbs were divided between Italy and Serbia  . The Kingdom of Serbia after the accession of the Austrian inheritance received a new name (KSHS), as well as a constitution restricting the power of the monarch, and a full-fledged parliament, which has legislative functions. The United Kingdom and France insisted on this, acting as guarantors of the fact that the rights of former Austrian and Hungarian nationals in the new state would be respected. At the same time, the ruling dynasty of Karageorgievich and the permanent Serbian Prime Minister Nikola Pasic (who had been at the head of the Serbian government for more than twenty years) categorically refused to internalize the Kingdom on a national basis. The country was divided into 33 areas, the boundaries of which were not always correlated with the resettlement of certain peoples, as well as with the territorial borders of the time of Austria-Hungary. It is quite clear that the absence of their own territorial unit as part of the new state did not suit the Croats and Slovenes, as well as the inhabitants of Macedonia, but quite satisfied the Serbs, including the so-called “Presidents”, the Serbs living on the former Habsburg lands.
In this discrepancy between the interests of Serbs and other peoples of the Western Balkans (primarily Croats), there are rooted reasons for national discord, which led to both the genocide of 40 and the bloodshed of 90. Twentieth century.
Since 1923, in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, by hook or by crook, the functions of the parliament began to be curtailed, and various political associations were banned, especially national parties and Croat movements, as well as left-wing parties. In 1929, King Alexander Karageorgievich abolished the constitution and dissolved the parliament, and also changed the name of the state from KSXS to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The new state became an absolute monarchy, all political parties disloyal to the authorities were banned, the territorial structure was once again revised, and in a vein even less advantageous for Croats and Slovenes - the country was divided into nine "bans" . The borders of banovina were even less consistent with the areas of resettlement of certain peoples and historical traditions than the “counties” that existed before. In particular, the territory of the modern Republic of Croatia turned out to be divided between five bananas - Drava, Sava, Seaside, Zeta and Danube. The deviation from the principles of the constitutional parliamentary monarchy, already indicated in the Corfu Declaration of 1917 as the main principle of the existence of a joint state of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, generated a wave of indignation in the "national" areas of the kingdom. Moreover, in the radical rejection of the statist coup of King Alexander and the new administrative structure of the country, both radicals and many politicians loyal to Belgrade were united. In 1931, King Alexander, under pressure from Great Britain and France, granted the country a new constitution and a new parliament, but parliament received purely deliberative functions, and the only party passed into it in the elections - an obscure political hybrid called "Yugoslav Radical Peasant Democracy," formed by the merger of several pro-government conservative parties.
Having rejected the few democratic institutions that existed in the CXC Kingdom, as well as the solution of the national question, Alexander Karageorgievich, without knowing it, signed a death sentence for himself.
This sentence was carried out on 9 on October 1934 in Marseilles (pictured), the Macedonian terrorist, member of the Internally-Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (VMRO) Vlado Georgiev-Chernozemsky, acted directly as the executor. In addition to the Yugoslav monarch, the French Foreign Minister Louis Bartu fell under the bullets of terrorists. The organizers of the attack were members of the Rebel Croatian Revolutionary Organization, usually called “Ustashi”, that is, the rebels.
This is the first appearance of the Ustashe and their leader, the “messenger” Ante Pavelic on the world stage. The Ustashi organization came into being after the coup of 1929 from several nationalist circles and the radical wing of the Croatian Law Party, aimed at secession of Croatia from Yugoslavia at any cost and the creation of an independent state of Croatia. From the very beginning, Ustasha activity was encouraged and even sponsored by the authoritarian nationalist regimes of Benito Mussolini in Italy, Admiral Miklos Horthy in Hungary, as well as by the Bulgarian nationalist parties (with the knowledge and, possibly, approval of Tsar Boris Saxe-Coburg-Gottsky). Also an important detail of the Marseille murder is the fact that the liquidation of King Alexander was planned in the depths of the German General Staff. In the GDR back in the late 50's. data on the involvement of the leadership of the Third Reich in the liquidation of King Alexander and the French foreign minister, an active opponent of Germany and a possible future president of France were made public.
And in 1966, a prominent Soviet Balkanist, the future director of the Institute of Slavic Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, V.K. Volkov in his book “Operation“ Teutonic Sword ”” convincingly proved on the basis of archival materials that the operation was planned by the German military intelligence even before Hitler came to power, in 1932.
However, in the West, especially German science, the German mark in the "Marseille murder" is still considered only the "version" .
Henceforth, in the center of this narration will be the movement of the Croatian "Ustashe". As already noted, the main sponsors of radical Croatian nationalists were Italy and Hungary, who, in the event of the collapse of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, were counting on increasing their territories with the same “Habsburg legacy”, the distribution of which the ruling regimes of these countries were totally dissatisfied with. Actually, the entire leadership of the Ustasha was based in Rome, however it maintained very close contacts with the nationalist underground in Yugoslavia, not only with Croats and Slovenes, but also with the Macedonians (through Bulgaria) and the Albanian nationalist organization Bally Combetar (through Italian trustees in Albania). Generally, in Rome at that time period (1929-39) a real fascist International was formed, which, although it was never called that way and did not have such a powerful organizational body as the Comintern, was created precisely in opposition to the Communist International, but hit in the first place, according to the monarchical and thoroughly anti-communist royal Yugoslavia .
The Ustashi plans for the forcible separation of Croatia from Yugoslavia could not shake the administrative reform of Premier Dragisha Cvetkovic 1939, according to which the Croats received their own Croatian banovina, including the interior regions of Croatia and Slavonia with Dalmatia, with Zagreb's capital. This measure was correct, but hopelessly belated, in the middle of the 20s. Croats could be satisfied with this form of autonomy, at the end of 30-x - no longer.
Nevertheless, the agreement of Prime Minister Cvetkovic with the leader of the Croatian moderate nationalists Vladko Macaek about the formation of central authorities on a national basis, for some time marginalized the radical nationalists Ante Pavelic.
Also, we should not forget that the prince regent Pavel Karageorgievich, who headed the country after the murder of Alexander, departed from the traditional for the Kingdom of Yugoslavia political affinity with Great Britain and especially with France and began to build trusting relations with Hitler's Germany, and then with the Soviet Union . In 1939, Prince Regent Paul was received at the highest level in Berlin and publicly swore to Hitler that Serbia would never fight with Germany while remaining a neutral country. The rapprochement of Yugoslavia with Germany also did not play into the hands of the Ustashians, if during the 1929-1934 period. they constantly organized sabotage and terrorist attacks on the territory of the kingdom (using support bases in Italy and Hungary), then since 1939, Ustasha’s activity has been passivated.
The situation changes radically in March 1941 of Hitler is no longer satisfied with the neutrality of Yugoslavia, he demands that the Prince Regent Paul join the Tripartite Pact under the threat of an immediate invasion of the Reich into the Balkans. Pavel Karageorgievich has no choice but to conclude a pact with Hitler. The document on the accession of Yugoslavia to the Axis countries was signed in Vienna on 25 in March 1941, and just two days later a military coup occurred in Belgrade, the Regency Council was dispersed, all power was formally handed over to seventeen King Peter II, the pact with Germany canceled  . On April 6, troops of the Third Reich and Allies, without declaring war, invaded the territory of Yugoslavia.
The attack came on the Orthodox holiday Palm Sunday, with which the German bombers "Stuki" congratulated the residents of the Serbian capital, despite the fact that Belgrade was formally proclaimed "open city" and its safety was ensured by international law .
17 April, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia capitulated, lasted only eleven days, not least because of the reluctance of the Croats, Slovenes and Macedonians to fight for the Karageorgievich dynasty. From this moment begins the nightmare of the Ustashian terror, the prologue to which was the murder of King Alexander.
The marginal lands of the former Kingdom of Yugoslavia were divided between Germany and the Allies , the Serbs and Montenegrins received their quasi-states dependent on Germany and Italy, respectively, and Croatia established the Independent State of Croatia (NDH), which also included Bosnia and Herzegovina and some parts of Serbia. It was originally proposed to lead the puppet state to the former deputy prime minister of the royal government and leader of the Croatian Peasant Party, Vladko Machek, a moderate nationalist, possibly the most popular politician in Croatia at that time. Machek refused this offer and was first placed in the Croatian concentration camp Jasenovac, about which more detailed below, and then under house arrest. After Machek’s withdrawal, Hitler, at the suggestion of Mussolini, who was also supported by the head of imperial security, Reinhardt Heydrich, approved the appointment of Ante Pavelic as head of the NDH. Hitler did not favor Pavelic, considering him to be an Italian puppet, but Hitler’s Commissioner for Policy in the Balkans, the SS brigadeführer Edmund Weesenmayer, had excellent relations with the second person in the Ustasha party, Slavko Kvaternnik . 10 April Kvaternik, with the blessing of Weesenmayer, proclaims Ante Pavelic as the head of Independent Croatia, 13 April, Pavelic returns to Croatia after more than a decade of emigration, welcomed by his party comrades as the ancient Roman commander-victor.
The head of the NDH becomes Pavelic, the war minister - Kvaternik, the minister of internal affairs, Andriya Artukovich, one of the participants of the "Marseille murder", the mediocre, but prolific fiction writer Mile Budak , the minister of information and propaganda. The post of deputy prime minister of the government was actually reserved for Bosnian Muslims, at first it was Osman Kulenovich, then his brother Jafar-beg Kulenovich . The political credo of the NDH leadership formulated Mile Budak in his speech in the city of Gospic, which was fully published on 26 on June 1941 in the main newspaper NDH “The Croatian List”. Regarding Serbs, Jews and other foreigners, Budak spoke very bluntly: “We will destroy one part of the Serbs, transfer the other part, convert the rest to the Catholic faith and turn them into Croats. Thus their tracks will soon be lost, and what remains will only be a bad memory of them. For Serbs, Gypsies and Jews, we will have three million bullets ” (three million are the approximate number of ethnic Croats in NDH, considering Bosnia and Herzegovina, the total population of Ustachas Independent Croatia is about seven million).
If the Ustashi negative attitude towards Jews and Gypsies took over from their patrons from Germany and Italy, then a furious, not finding a rational explanation for Serb hatred is a purely local feature.
In principle, the entire introductory part of this article convincingly shows that the Croats had nothing to love Serbs for. In Serbs from Serbia proper (“Sribians”), Ustashi and their supporters saw the main oppression of the Karageorgievich dynasty, and in quite shared by their position Serbs from Croatia and Bosnia (“residents”) - an obstacle to the achievement of independence by the Croats. But the forms that this dislike in the NDC took, absurd and pathological in their cruelty, do not find a rational explanation. According to the definition of the largest modern researcher of fascism as ideology, the American scientist Stanley J. Payne, “You can not compare the crimes of the Ustasha with the activities of other Nazi collaborators, and not with the crimes of the Nazis themselves, but, perhaps, with the Khmer Rouge terror in Cambodia. There are no other analogies in recent history ... ”.
To begin with, the Ustashi passed the law “On the protection of the state”, which prohibited any political associations of Serbs and other foreigners, then the law on the prohibition of the Cyrillic alphabet, “On the protection of Aryan blood and honor of the Croatian people”, according to which in any trial the priority should be given Croats, and other discriminatory laws. Serbs were instructed to wear an armband with a Latin letter “P” - “Orthodox”. However, this is not so much the independent work of the Ustasha as it is an attempt to reproduce the Nuremberg laws on Croatian soil.
What distinguished the internal policy of the Ustasha literally from the first days was the unmotivated and extremely cruel actions to destroy the Serbian population. Ustashi made their first raids on Serb-populated cities and villages immediately after the surrender of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, for example, in Gudowce near Belovar 27 – 28 on April 1941, were shot near 200 Serbs, in the Koritsa village - 176 Serbs, in the Lyubishki district, –NNXX Serbs, in the Lyubishki district — 4, 500 Serbs, in the Lyubishki district, –NNXX, in the Kornitsa, 5 Serbs, in the Lyubishki district, –NNXX, in the Lyubishki area — 280 of Serbs, in the Koritsa village - 1941 of Serbs, in the Lyubishki district —NNNXXNNXXNNXXNXX, XNUMX Serbs in the town of Koritsa, XNUMX Serbs, in the area of Lyubishki, N.N.X. , also about XNUMX thousands of people died as a result of massacres under the leadership of Franjo Vega, an employee of the ministry A. Artukovich. In an aviation field located between Swiytsa and Livno, thrown into the cisterns and filled with quicklime XNUMX of the Serbs, in Galinevo hundreds of Serbs were dropped alive in the Drina river connected by two metal wires. After a significant number of occupying forces left the Balkans in June and the German control over NDH weakened in June, Ustashi increased the scale of national cleansing.
Only in six weeks of 1941, the Ustashi repressed three Orthodox bishops and killed 180 000 of peaceful Serbs.
A huge number of corpses were thrown into the waters of the Drina, Drava and Sava, so that they reach Serbia. Some were attached to signs with inscriptions like “Trip to Belgrade”, “Regards Serbia”, “To Belgrade to King Peter”, “Meat for the Belgrade Market” .
A separate chapter in the chronicle of the Ustashian terror is the murder of representatives of the Serbian Orthodox clergy. We can recall the whole cathedral of the new martyrs, glorified by the Serbian Orthodox Church in the last quarter of the twentieth century, for example, the martyr Peter (Zimonic), the metropolitan of Dabrobosansky; Confessor Dosifei (Vasić), Metropolitan of Zagreb, and others. Here are some excerpts from the biographies of the Serbian new martyrs who entered the martyrology published by the Serbian Orthodox Church in 90. The Croatian Ustashi, seized the sick bishop of Bancha Lucian, on the night from 4 on 5 in May 1941, was killed, and the body was thrown into the river Vrbanyu. Metropolitan Peter (Zimonic) was advised to leave Sarajevo for a few days and wait out the first wave of Croatian terror, but he decided to stay with his people. After an explanation with the German and Croatian authorities, on May 12, the metropolitan of May 1941 was captured and put in prison in Sarajevo. After the ordeals in Zagreb and Gospic, Metropolitan Peter was killed in the concentration camp Jasenovac and burned in a crematorium. On the sixth of May 1941 of the year, on the day of his birthday, the holy martyr George, Fr. Branko (Dobrosavlevich) was captured by the Croatian Ustashes, led by the teacher of Veli Ivan Shayfor. Together with the archpriest, his son Nebojša, a medicine student, a priest Dimitri Skorupan, the abbot of the parish from Tsviyanovich Brda, and about 500 Serbs were captured. All of them were locked up in Veljun’s gendarme station, where they were cruelly tortured, especially by Fr. Branko, Nebojšu.
Ustahi demanded from Archpriest Dobrosavlevich that he perform the funeral of his living son.
On the morning of May 7, 1941, all of them were diverted to the Kestenovac forest under the Croatian Blagaj, where they were killed. After liberation, in 1946, their remains were transferred to Velouin, where they were buried in a mass grave. The grave was destroyed by the ideological successors of the Ante Pavelic case in the 90s, as well as many other monuments of the Ustashi terror.
 Italy moved Istria, Slovenian Primorye, part of Dalmatia. Serbia - Slovenia, Krajna, Carinthia and Lower Styria; Slavonia, Dalmatia, Zagorje, Lika and other Croat-populated areas; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Srem, Bačka, Baranya and part of Banat are territories with a mixed population at the junction of Serbia, Hungary and Romania. Also in the new state entered Montenegro. Thus, the territories under the control of Belgrade, compared with the beginning of the First World War, increased about five times.
 Banovina is an archaic term dating back to medieval times. Ban is a vassal ruler who is in feudal dependence on a more powerful ruler. In the Kingdom of Hungary, the ruler of Croatia was appointed as a ban appointed from Budapest, the most famous example being the ban Josip Jelacic. Because of this, the return to use of the terms "ban" and "banovina" by many Croatian intellectuals was perceived as an insult.
 V.K. Volkov calls and the name of a specific developer of the operation to eliminate King Alexander and Louis Bart. This is the officer of the German General Staff G. Speidel, during the "Marseille murder" who worked in Paris as an assistant to the German military attache. Speidel made a dizzying career, when the Nazis rose to the rank of general, and after the war he became the commander of NATO ground forces in Europe. The stubborn hushing up of the true history of the “Marseille murder” in Western historiography is connected, apparently, with the reluctance to sully the “good name” of the NATO general. For those who doubt that this is possible, we note that Speidel was far from the only Nazi generals who found themselves in leading positions in NATO. Suffice it to recall R. Gehlen and A. Heusinger.
 The head office of the “Fascist International” was the organization of the Action Committee for the Universalization of the Experience of Rome (KAUR). In general, several official organizations of fascist Italy worked in the field of creating “universal fascism”: “Fascist organizations abroad”, “Dante Alighieri Society”, “School of Fascist Mysticism”. If we add to this a variety of newspapers and magazines promoting the idea of the expansion of fascism to Europe and the unions of all European fascists under the auspices of Italy, then we can talk about a system that is not inferior in scope to the Comintern. A. Naumov “Fascist International. The Conquest of Europe. Moscow: Veche, 2005. Page 41-42.
 In relation to the regime of Pavel Karageorgiyevich, Soviet science used the conventional stamp “monarch fascist dictatorship”, true for the Romanian King Karol II, not quite true for the Bulgarian Tsar Boris and not at all true for Prince Regent Paul.
 We cannot afford to dwell in detail on the so-called “April putsch” within the framework of this text, we note only that it would hardly have been possible without the active participation of Great Britain and the Soviet Union. Let us cite just one quote from Pavel Sudoplatov, showing well who is who in this story: “It was at this time that Stalin and Molotov decided to at least delay the beginning of the war of Germany against the USSR, using that plan for Yugoslavia, which was refused in 1938 year - the overthrow of the Yugoslav pro-German government. Major-General Milstein, Deputy Head of Military Intelligence, was sent to Belgrade. By this time, Soviet intelligence was able to recruit the Yugoslav ambassador to the USSR M. Gavrilovich, although there was information that in fact he was a British agent in Moscow ... ". Sudoplatov P.A. “Special operations. Lubyanka and the Kremlin. 1930-1950. Moscow, 1998. C. 178.
 To maintain the status of an “open city”, all military units, including anti-aircraft artillery, were withdrawn from Belgrade. But the German command did not embarrass this fact. As a result of the bombing in Belgrade and the surrounding area, more than 20 thousands of people died.
 Under the direct control of Germany were Lower Styria and Banat, Italy received the Slovenian Territory, part of Dalmatia and the Montenegrin Primorye, Hungary - Bachka, Baranya and Srem, Bulgaria - Macedonia, southern and eastern Serbia together with a part of Kosovo, Albania - most of Kosovo and western Macedonia.
 Kvaternik was captain of the Austro-Hungarian army in the First World War, was awarded an iron cross for bravery, was always a zealous Germanophile and was considered a "German man" in the leadership of the Ustashes.
 16 is an author of novels and novels, mainly about the hard life of the Croatian peasantry and the urban poor. In a literary work he is a convinced realist with some romantic flair; at the beginning of his writing career is a fan of Maxim Gorky.
 Kulenovici is an extremely interesting family, they come from Bosnian aristocrats, races. Their tribal possession, a large village in the area of the city of Bihac, since the beginning of Turkish rule in Bosnia, is called by their surname - Kulen Vakuf. The family regularly supplied the Ottoman Empire military leaders and military leaders. At the same time, unlike many other clans of the Bosnian races, the Kulenovici always identified themselves as Croats of the Muslim faith, had close ties with Croatia. Osman Kulenovich studied in law school in Zagreb together with Ante Pavelic and was an active member of the party since the first days of the party. The joint work of the two Kulenovich brothers - a manifesto published shortly before the war, "A Message from Croatian Muslims to their Brethren of Faith in the World."
 The best research on Croatian ustasham in Russian, by which this fragment is cited, monograph I.V. Rudneva “The Croatian National Movement: the end of the 1960's - the beginning of the 1970's. M .: Institute of Slavic Studies, RAS; SPb .: Nestor-History, 2014.
 Stanley G. Payne, "The NDH State in Comparative Perspective," an article in Politics, Religion & Ideology (formerly Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions, published since 2000), special issue "The Independent State of Croatia (NDH), 1941–45 "(No. 4, 2006). P. 413.
 Specific details of Ustashian atrocities can be found in the monographs “Yugoslavia in the 20th Century: Essays on Political History” (edited by K. V. Nikiforov) M .: Indrik, 2011. Kosik V.I. Croatian Orthodox Church (from organization to liquidation) (1942 - 1945). - Moscow: Institute of Slavic Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, 2012.