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Nazi-collaborator monuments

Nazi collaborator monuments in Croatia

There are hundreds of statues and monuments in the United States and around the world to people who abetted or took part in the murder of Jews and other minorities during the Holocaust. As part of an ongoing investigation, the Forward has, for the first time, documented them in this collection of articles. For an initial guide to each country’s memorials click here. For a 2022 update to the investigation, click here.


Slavonski Brod and ten other towns — A street named after Mile Budak (1889–1945), chief ideologue and minister of education for Croatia’s fascist Ustasha party, which systematically murdered hundreds of thousands of Jews, Serbs and Roma during the Holocaust.

Left: Mile Budak (Wikimedia Commons). Right: Mile Budak Street, Slavonski Brod (Wikimedia Commons). Image by Forward collage

Budak has additional streets in Jasenice, Pag, Pakoštane, Pleternica, Sisak, Sveti Rok, Vinkovci, Vrana and Zadar and, strangely enough, a pier in Bilice. Coverage in Radio Slobodna Evropa (Radio Free Europe’s Balkan branch; Google translation here) and Balkan Insight. (Many thanks to Rory Yeomans for his invaluable guidance on Croatia.)

For an overview of Ustasha’s brutality, which stands out even in the scope of WWII, see this academic paper.

Branimir Jelić statue, Donji Dolac (Wikimedia Commons). Image by Forward collage

Donji Dolac — A statue of Branimir Jelić (1905–1972). A peripatetic Ustasha member and close associate of the genocidal Ante Pavelić, Jelić traveled the West working as an Ustasha propagandist among the Croatian diaspora in the U.S. and South America. After the war, Jelić, like many Eastern European Nazi collaborators, branded himself and exiled Ustasha members as warriors against Communism. Below is an Ustasha rally, Zagreb 1941.

Ustasha rally, Zagreb, 1941. Image by Forward collage

Below, a neo-Nazi march in support of Donald Trump featuring Ustasha flag and shield, Zagreb 2017.

Far-right march with Ustasha symbols, Zagreb, February 26, 2017 (Stringer/AFP via Getty Images). Image by Forward collage

Note: the entry below was added during the January 2022 project update.

Left: Julije Makanec (Wikimedia Commons). Right: Ustasha Youth march, mostly likely in Zagreb, April 4, 1944 (National and University Library in Zagreb, Periodicals Reading Room). Image by Forward collage

Bjelovar – This town has a street named for Julije Makanec (1904–1945), writer, philosopher and politician who was Bjelovar’s mayor in 1941. Afterward, Makanec served as Ustasha minister of education and head of education for the Ustasha Youth – the organization devoted to training and indoctrinating new generations of supporters aged 7 to 21 (such groups are a staple of fascist regimes including those in Germany and Italy.) Above right, the photo of an Ustasha Youth march in the April 10, 1944 issue of Ustaška Mladež, the organization’ magazine. “Future bearers of Croatian greatness salute their sovereign,” is the headline.

For Ustasha monuments outside of Croatia, see the Bosnia and Herzegovina and Australia sections.

For more on Croatia’s widespread rehabilitation of the Ustasha, which is manifest in multiple forms, including sports and music, see articles in Balkan Insight, the Jerusalem Post and the Independent; Haaretz on the Ustasha scandal regarding Croatia’s 2018 World Cup team; and Defending History’s Croatia page. For a more detailed read, see Rory Yeomans in The Routledge Handbook of Balkan and Southeast European History, 2020 edition.

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