[Article] Religion and Nation in Wartime Croatia: by Mark Biondich

By Mark Biondich

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Extra resources for [Article] Religion and Nation in Wartime Croatia: Reflections on the Ustaša Policy of Forced Religious Conversions, 1941-1942

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I 82, p. 509. 95 96 I02 RELIGION AND NATION IN WARTIME CROATIA But even beyond those areas of Italian control and where insurgency had not undermined Ustasa control, the Croatian authorities often failed to achieve marked successes in implementing the policy. In large part that was because local Ustasa officialdom in some cases refused to implement the policy or simply undermined it in other ways. In many parts of wartime Croatia, continued persecution and even killings of Serbs by the Ustasa militia, even after conversion had occurred, undermined the policy.

226-3I; and Rasim Hurem, 'Prilike u istocnoj Bosni sredinom I 942. godine', in A_VNJViAarodnooslobodila6ka borbau Bosni i Hercegovini, PP. 49-64. 137 Some authors believe conversions were pursued by the regime even after the formation of the Croatian Orthodox Church. For example, see Duric, PrekrAtavanje, pp. I 2 I-23. This proposition is questionable, however, since there is little documentation to demonstrate the point conclusively. Although it appears that some mass conversions occurred as late as May 1942, they likely involved Serbs who had earlier petitioned for state approval and were approved much later by the VO.

MARK BIONDICH I03 added humiliation. What drove Serbs to convert in the first place was fear of arrest, deportation or being murdered at the hands of the authorities. When many of them began to see that conversion was no guarantee of security, conversion essentially became meaningless. The head of Licki Osik commune (Lika) reported that there were so few conversions in his region because there had been 'unrest and disorder here, in which the Greek Easternerswere killed, that is, both those who converted and sought conversion and those who did not'.

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