Ante Pavelic

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Ante Pavelić
Ante Pavelić.png
Born July 14, 1889
Bradina, Condominium of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Austria-Hungary
Died December 28, 1959 (aged 70)
Madrid, Spanish State
Nationality Croatian
Occupation lawyer, politician
Organization Ustaša – Croatian Revolutionary Movement
Party Party of Rights (1910-1929)
Ustasha movement (1929-1945)
Croatian Statehood Party (1956)
Croatian Liberation Movement (1956-1959)
Religion Roman Catholic
Spouse Maria Pavelić (née Lovrenčević)

Poglavnik (leader) of the
Independent State of Croatia
Term April 10, 1941 - May 8, 1945
Predecessor Office established
Successor Nikola Mandić (as Prime Minister)

Term January 4, 1943 - September 2, 1943
Predecessor Slavko Kvaternik
Successor Miroslav Navratil

1st Foreign Minister of the Independent State of Croatia
Term April 16, 1941 - June 9, 1941
Predecessor Office established
Successor Mladen Lorković

Member of Parliament of Yugoslavia
Term September 11, 1927 - January 7, 1929

Ante Pavelic, Dr. iur. (1889 - 1959), the first Croatian president, was a major Croatian nationalist, vice-president of Croatian Right Party, organizer of the Croatian Revolutionary Movement "Ustasha" for Croatia's liberation from Yugoslavia, and the President of the Independent State of Croatia from 1941 during World War II, being in alliance with Mussolini and Hitler.

Personal biography

Ante Pavelic (Bradina at Konjic, July 14, 1889 - Madrid, December 28, 1959). was a major Croatian politician and statesman of 20th century, chief secretary (1919th to 1927th) and then Vice-President (1927 - 1929) of Croatian Right Party, and people's representative in Yugoslav Assembly in Belgrade (1927 - 1929), then founder and leader of the Croatian Revolutionary Movement "Ustasha" (1929 - 1945), and the head of the Independent Croatian State (1941 - 1945), then also the founder and first president of the Croatian Liberation Movement (1956 - 1959), and the main ideologist of Croatian nationalism in 20th century.

Ante Pavelic was born on July 14th, 1889 in the hamlet Bradina on Ivan-Mountain above town Konjic in Herzegovina, where his father Mile as railway worker, and mother Mary justly immigrated from Krivi Put village near Senj at Adriatic coast. He attended his elementary school in some Bosnian towns, and then the Classical college in the native port Senj, and also the Jesuite college in Travnik, and finally in Karlovac and Zagreb, where he graduated in 1910. Even as a young man in his college time, he accessed from conviction to the Croatian Right Party. After graduating, he studied in the Faculty of Law in Zagreb and graduated in law 1914, then already 1915 he also obtained a doctorate in law.

Since 1915 to 1918 he worked as an attorney at the president's secretary of the Croatian Right Party, Dr. Alexander Buchanan. After completing his practice to 1918, he continued as an independent lawyer. In 1919. he married Mary Lovrenchevic and later had 3 children: a son Velimir, and daughters Miryana and Vishnya. Pavelic published some political and literary articles, and also two major books: a political novel "Nice Blondine" (Liepa plavka, 1935), and political discussion "Horrors of politic blunders" (Strahote zabluda, 1938) almost speaking against the communism in the USSR. Also his daughter Vishnya Pavelic then published his posthumous book "Memorial experiences" (Dozivljaji, 1968) which he wrote in the Argentinian exile.

Political activities

From 1918. he participated in the leading of the Croatian Right Party, starting as a member of its Working Committee, then as its Secretary and the Vice-President of that party. From 1921 - 1927, he was elected in the assembly of Zagreb City. From June 1927 he represents the Zagreb city in the congress of European cities in Paris. On his return from Paris, he received in Roma from the Italian government a surrendered promemory composed by Dr. Joseph Frank, in which Italy offers cooperation in the destruction of Yugoslavia for the independent Croatian state.

At the parliamentary elections 1927 he was elected in a representative list of the Croatian Bloc together with I. Trumbic. Then in his speeches in the Belgrade Assembly he spoke against the creation of Major Serbia and for Croatia's independence. Within the Croatian Right Party, he worked mostly with young members. Since the killings by Serbs of both leaders (brothers Radic) of the Croatian Peasant Party in 1928, he accessed to Peasant-Democratic coalition. Then he organized the list for a Croatian Defender program for creating another Croatian state, and on October 1st 1929 he founded the Society for combat operations.

Toward Yugoslavia's disaster

After the proclamation of king's Amexander Karagjordjevic on the royal dictature from January 6th 1929, Pavelic moved from Yugoslavia in emigration. He went firstly to Vienna, then with his collaborator Gustav Perčec in Budapest, and in Sofia on April 20th 1929. There with the anti-Yugoslav leadership of Macedonian National Committee (VMRO) he subscribed a statement of the mutual aid of Croats with Macedonian Bulgarians for the destruction of Yugoslavia, and for the creation of the independent Croatian and Macedonian states. In the meantime, Yugoslav political court in Belgrade on July 17th 1929 sentenced him to death in absence. At the end of 1930, Pavelic from Sofia via Vienna comes to Italy, where he founded the secret Croatian revolutionary movement - "Ustasha" (= Rebels) with the aim of destroying Yugoslavia and establishing the Independent Croatian State with the help of Italy. Then he became its headman (= Poglavnik), and this Ustasha movement was organized on the conspiratonal and military principles, very alike the recent Irish IRA and the Basque ETA. His main collaborators in Italy, who later became Croatian nationalist leaders, were: Branko Jelic, Mile Budak, Eugen Dido Kvaternik, Mijo Babic, etc.

In 1931 he in Italy founded the first Ustasha camp for military training in the province of Brescia, and then also encourages the establishments of other such camps in Italy and Hungary. In 1932 they organized the first Croatian uprising in Velebit mountains. Then in 1934, in collaboration with the Macedonian revolutionaries (VMRO) they organized in Marseille the assassination of Yugoslav king Alexander Karagjordjevic. Thus again in Belgrade he was sentenced for the second time to death in absence. After Marseille assaults, he was arrested and imprisoned in Turin, where he remains in jail until 1936.

President of Independent Croatia

In October 1936 he prepared an extended study for the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, entitled: "Croatian question". After the new convergence of Yugoslavia and Italy, and their agreement Ciano - Stojadinovic on April 1st 1937, the Ustasha military camps in Italy were closed, and then moved to Hungary. Then he was interned in Siena until 1939. After the Yugoslavian overthrow and fall of Milan Stojadinovic, Albania and Italy prepared for the attack on Yugoslavia, and Italians also permitted the entering of about 250 armed Ustasha warriors via Adriatic in Croatia. Then Pavelic was received by Benito Mussolini on March 29th 1941, and shortly the Independent State of Croatia on April 10th 1941 was officially proclaimed.

As the head of the Ustasha group and the new Croatian national government, Pavelic on April 15th 1941 returned in a national triumph from the Adriatic coast to Zagreb, welcomed by enthusiastic greetings of many Croats. After full 9 centuries of different foreign rulers over Croatia, this was the first Croatian national government. Pavelic took here the positions of prime minister and foreign minister. Then was renewed the old Croatian Homeguard (Domobrani) from the past centuries, and organized the administrative and diplomatic services of the new state.

Problems of new Croatian state

After the negotiations with Ciano on April 25th 1941 in Ljubljana, and with Mussolini on 7th May, Croatia subscribed the Treaty of Rome on May 18th 1941. By these agreements the major part of the Croatian coast and islands had left in Italy, also with Italian political, economic and military control of the coastal zone in Croatia. Therefore in June 1941, Pavelic for the first time visited Hitler and initiated stronger ties with Germany, and on June 15th 1941, Croatia in Venice subscribed its access to Tripartite Pact. Concerning internal relations, on April 17th 1941, he brings legal provision for national defense and state, which provides death for crimes on the vital interests of the Croatian people. Also due to war security, all other parties and associations were banned. Then in Croatia appeared his authoritarian system, and detention camps despite the protests of the Catholic Church headed by the archbishop Aloysius Stepinac.

However in October 1942, from his office was removed Eugen Dido Kvaternik, being the main implementer of strong-arm policy. After the coup of Marshal Badoglio and Mussolini's fall in Italy, followed the Croatian abolition of the Treaty of Rome with the official return of Dalmatia and Istria with all islands within the framework of the Independent Croatian State from September 1943 (So coastal Croatia with islands was not 'liberated' by Tito's Yugoslavia but then in Yugoslavia that coast and isles were balkanized, and even numerous local non-Slavs and also Croats were killed and rejected in foibe - karst abysses). In September 1944. Pavelic stopped any initiatives of M. Lorkovic and A. Vokić for Croatia's separating of Germany, and to conciliatie with the Allies; therefore to the end Independent Croatia's fate was connected with the fate of National Socialist Germany.

Croatia's collapse and Pavelic's death

Then in April 1945, Pavelic participated in the combinations of Slovenian leader Leo Rupnik and Serbian Draza Mihailovic in a short attempt to create Serbo-Croatian-Slovenian anticommunist block, against Tito's communists threatening all ones. At the end of the Second World War, with most of Ustasha leaders he left Zagreb on May 6th 1945. In 1946 via Austria and Italy, he went by the Red Cross in Argentina 1948, where he lived under a false name Antonio Serdar. Then Argentina's president Juan Perón give him political asylum, and then Pavelic in Buenos Aires organized the new Croatian state government in exile (president Dr. Dzaferbeg Kulenovic), and then founded there also the Croatian statehood party 1949. In 1956. along with other Croatian political emigrants, they established the Croatian Liberation Movement (HOP) as the strongest external opposition to Communist Yugoslavia (this same movement endly initiated the armed separation of Croatia 1991).

After the military coup in Argentina 1955 deposing president Perón, who protected Pavelic and Croatian Ustashe, this was soon abused by Yugoslav secret police (UDBA) to attack and execute Pavelic and Ustasha. In organization of Yugoslav police chief Alexander Rankovic, UDBA's executor Blagoje Jovovic in the attack on April 10th 1957 by two bullets wounded Pavelic during a local celebration near Palomar Lomas de Buenos Aires, where then lived Pavelic. Due to this attack and without Peron's protection, Pavelic because of his security was forced to leave from Argentina to Chile, where he lived 4 months. On November 29th 1957, he again emigrated to safer Spain under Francisco Franco's government, and there became unattainable for the Yugoslav UDBA's killers, because Spain does not recognize at all the communist Yugoslavia. Then after some years of suffering from diabetes and from wounding injuries, Ante Pavelic died in Madrid on December 28th 1959. He was buried at San Isidro cemetery in Madrid, that still persists a destination of pilgrimage for many Croatian nationalists up today, devoted to their first president and the founder of independent Croatia.


  • Jelić-Butić, F.: Ustaše i NDH (Ustasha and Croatia). Globus, Zagreb 1977.
  • Krišto, J.: Katolička crkva i NDH (Catholic Church and Independent Croatia). Dom i svijet, Zagreb 1998.
  • Krizman, B.: Pavelić između Hitlera i Mussolinija (Pavelic between Hitler and Mussolini). Globus, Zagreb 1983.
  • Krizman, B.: Ustaše i Treći Reich (Croatia and Third Reich). Volumes 1-2, Globus, Zagreb 1983.
  • Matković, H.: Povijest Nezavisne Države Hrvatske (History of Independent Croatia). PIP-d.o.o., Zagreb 2002.
  • Sagrak, D.: Dr. Ante Pavelić - 50 godina kasnije (Ante Pavelic after 50 years). Privatna naklada, Zagreb 2009.

External links

See also


Translated mostly from the Croatian original in Croatian Metapedia: Ante Pavelić.