Croatia: Croatia in Yugoslavia
Croatia in Yugoslavia
Despite the achievement of autonomy in local affairs, Croatia remained restless because of continuing Magyarization. Cultural and political Croat and South Slav organizations arose, notably the Croatian Peasant party, founded in the early 20th cent. With the collapse of Austria-Hungary (1918), the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (later renamed Yugoslavia) was formed. Serbs dominated the new state, however, and promoted centralization, ignoring Croat desires for a federal structure.
Agitation resulted in the assassination (1928) of Stepjan Radić, head of the Croatian Peasant party. After Radič's successor, Vladimir Maček, connived with fascist Italy to form a separate Croatian state, Yugoslavia allowed the formation (1939) of an autonomous
When the Germans invaded Yugoslavia in 1941, the Ustachi seized power and declared Croatian independence under Ante Pavelič. Croatia was placed under Italian and later German military control, while the Ustachi dictatorship perpetuated brutal excesses, including the establishment of concentration camps; in the Croat-operated Jasenovac camp alone, it has been estimated that some 200,000 Serbs, Jews, Romani (Gypsies), and Croat opposition figures were killed. A large part of the population joined the anti-Fascist Yugoslav partisan forces under Tito, himself a native of Croatia.
Pavelič fled in the wake of Germany's defeat in 1945, and Croatia became one of the six republics of reconstituted Yugoslavia. Croatian nationalism persisted in Communist Yugoslavia, however, and the Ustachi and other émigré nationalist groups remained active abroad. A major Yugoslavian decentralization reform that took effect in the early 1970s was designed in part to satisfy Croat demands for increased autonomy and dampen secessionist sentiment. The death of
Sections in this article:
- An Independent Croatia
- Croatia in Yugoslavia
- History through the Nineteenth Century
- Land and People
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