World War II: Partition of Yugoslavia--Croatia

Croatia World War II
Figure 1.--This photograph is unidentified, but we known it was taken by a German soldier and taken home to Austria with him. Our guess is that these are Croatian boys who dressed up in Croatian military costumes for the Germans. Note the German military vehicles in the background.

Hitler and Mussolini divided Yugoslaia. Slovenia was partitioned between Italy and Germany. Most of the country was divided between two puppet states, Serbia and Croatia. Small sections were given to Axis allies Bulgaria and Hungary. Part of the Serbian section was turned into the Banat for ethnic Germans. Italy obtained areas along the Adriatic coast, including Dalmatia that was populased with Croats and the Croatians wanted. The Croats were compensated with Bosnia. NAZI Croatia thus consisted of much of modern Croatia and large parts of Bosnia. The capital was Zagreb. It had a population of 6.3 million people: Catholic Croats (3.3 million), Orthodox Serbs (1.9 million), Muslims (0.7 million), Jews (40,000), and Gypsies (30,000). The attitude of the Croats towards the advancing German units was very different than the Serbs. Many Croats saw the Germans as liberating them from the Serbs. It is diffiult to quantify this, but many German soldiers in Croat populated areas were treated as liberators.


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Created: 3:11 AM 7/22/2009
Last updated: 3:11 AM 7/22/2009