Massacre of Ustasha Forces Commemorated by Croatian Nationalists

On Saturday, far-right Croatian nationalists gathered in southern Austria to mark the anniversary of the Bleiburg massacre where thousands of Croatians, mostly pro-Nazi Ustasha soldiers, were killed by vengeful communists after WWII.


Croatian nationalists hold flags that read “Za Dom Spremni” or “For Homeland Ready”, a chant used by pro-nazis during WWII. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic) Credit: The Associated Press

The Croatian nationalists, waving flags and insignia of the fascist Ustasha regime, were joined by top Croatian officials and members of the Croatian Catholic Church who held a mass for those killed during the massacre.

“All (WWII) victims deserve the same respect and reverence and the totalitarian regimes which committed the crimes deserve equal blame,” said Bozo Petrov, Croatia’s Deputy Prime Minister after the ceremony. “We should stop divisions over the victims.”


Surrendered fascist Croatian soldiers at Bleiburg, Austria in May 1945

The recently elected Croatian government has been criticized for downplaying the WWII crimes of the fascist Ustasha regime and the recent rise in far-right extremism, sparking protests from Croatian Jewish and Serb community leaders.

“We are faced with an effort to totally relativize the Ustasha crimes,” said Ognjen Kraus, the head of the Zagreb Jewish community. “It all started with such denials in Germany in 1933 and in Croatia in 1941.”

During WWII, the Ustasha regime was responsible for the death of hundreds of thousands Serbs with estimates ranging from 300,000 to 600,000.  The regime also killed an estimated 29,000 Gypsies and 30,000 Jews, many of them at the notorious Jasenovac concentration camp.

In May 1945, Croatian forces of the fascist Ustasha regime fled to Austria to escape the communist Yugoslavian partisans.  Turned back by the British at Bleiburg, Austria, the fascists surrendered to the communists who killed an estimated 30-40,000 Croatians on a forced march back through Slovenia and by summary executions after the war.

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One thought on “Massacre of Ustasha Forces Commemorated by Croatian Nationalists

  • Peter Kubicek says:

    I think that the vicious pro-Nazi Ustasha soldiers fully deserved their ultimate fate after W.W.2 ended.

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