Sammelrezension: Historiography of the Ustasha Movement

Max Bergholz, Violence as a Generative Force. Identity, Nationalism, and Memory in a Balkan Community, Ithaka: CUP 2016.

Ivo Goldstein / Slavko Goldstein, The Holocaust in Croatia, Pittsburgh: UPP 2016.

Rezensiert für den Arbeitskreis Historische Friedensforschung bei H-Soz-u-Kult von: Lovro Kralj, Central European University, Budapest.

Historiography dealing with the Ustasha movement and the Independent State of Croatia has gone through both a revival and a revision in the last decade. Scholarship had been first dominated by Yugoslav historiography, which did much to document the crimes of the Ustashe, but fell prey to superficial explanations of its violence, depicting the movement as a mere extension of “Nazi-Fascism;” a collection of blind servants devoid of any agency of their own. Misinterpretations of Ustasha ideology, such as the “clerical-fascist” model, dominant in parts of Yugoslav historiography have stubbornly persisted and can still be found among some contemporary authors. After 1990, there was a new wave of research dedicated to the Ustasha movement, sometimes motivated by the Ustasha apologists, but more often guided by sober motives supported by scientific rigor. Authors in this period aimed at getting rid of some of the dogmatic attitudes which were dominant in the Yugoslav period. Although much was written about the Ustasha terror by Croatian historians since the 1990s, authors often stuck to a rigid empiricist approach which perpetuated a chronological reconstruction of events without much attention dedicated to the new analytical and interpretative models. Croatian authors rarely wrote in English or stayed in touch with the developing international historiography dealing with related fields of the Holocaust, fascism, or political violence. Due to the isolation from debates on the international level, and lack of dialogue on the national level, the field in many ways entered into a crisis by mid-2000s. However, much has changed after 2010, when a new generation of historians, most coming from outside Croatia and having backgrounds in international historiography, learned Croatian and approached the Ustasha movement with more innovative interdisciplinary methodologies. The new generation of historians such as Alexander Korb, Rory Yeomans, Mark Biondich, Nevenko Bartulin and Tomislav Dulić did much to reinterpret the history of the Ustasha from the perspective of new explanatory models, positioning themselves against the rigid empiricist school. Their approach is distinctly interdisciplinary, since they often combine new findings from political science, sociology, or nationalism studies in their works. weiterlesen

Empfohlene Zitierweise
Lovro Kralj: Rezension zu: Bergholz, Max: Violence as a Generative Force. Identity, Nationalism, and Memory in a Balkan Community. Ithaka 2016 / Goldstein, Ivo; Goldstein, Slavko: The Holocaust in Croatia. Pittsburgh 2016 , in: H-Soz-Kult, 12.09.2017, <>.