Trifkovic: Ustashi and Mass Extermination in Croatia in World War II

Dr. Srdja Trifković


The history of the Second World War is rich in general overviews and specialist studies, but in Southeastern Europe we encounter an exception of long standing. Yugoslavia’s bellum omnium contra omnes in 1941-5 should be a rewarding area of specialist interest, now that most archives are accessible and travel unrestricted, but both remain curiously under-researched. The absence of an authoritative corpus in the western academe has been aggravated by two phenomena. One is the reluctance of historians in the successor states to come to grips with such delicate subjects as collaborationism and mass murder, or at least their reluctance to do so without ethnic blinkers and revisionist temptations. The other is the tendency of foreign scholars who take an interest in the region to view events of 1941-5 through the prism of their current preferences and affinities. This often translates into foreign scholars’ predilection for one or another form of nationalist narrative.
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