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5 Interwar Croatian Ethnolinguistic-Racial Theories

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Chapter Summary

During the interwar period, the Croat geographer and geopolitical theorist Filip Lukas emerged as the leading anti-Yugoslavist nationalist intellectual. Lukas was the first Croat to offer an intellectual critique of Jovan Cvijić's influential theory of Serbian-Dinaric racial exceptionality, which he presented in an essay from 1925 entitled 'The Geographical Foundation of the Croatian People'. The 'Indo-European-Aryan' interpretation was also the dominant theory on the origins of the religion of the old Croats during the interwar period. The Gothic theory of Croatian origins also gained some intellectual, and popular, currency during the interwar period. A significant aspect of anti-Yugoslavist Croatian racial ideology, both before and after 1941, was the question of the racial origin and identity of the Muslims of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Bosnian Muslim practice of endogamy had ensured 'the preservation of the Croatian racial element.

Keywords: anti-Yugoslavist Croatian racial ideology; Bosnian Muslims; Croat nationalists; Filip Lukas; Gothic theory; Herzegovina; Serbian-Dinaric racial exceptionality



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