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7 The Ustasha Racial State

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Chapter Summary

In order to transform the multi-ethnic Nezavisna Država Hrvatska (NDH) into an ethnically homogeneous nation state the Ustashe established extralegal forces which were free to deal, in whatever manner seemed fit, with the political and racial enemies of the Croatian people. In both an ideological and legal sense, the NDH was constructed as the state of the Croatian 'national community', which directly corresponded to the National Socialist idea of the Volksgemeinschaft. The concept of Aryan racial identity was legally enshrined in two racial decrees issued on 30 April: the Law Decree on Racial Affiliation and the Law Decree on the Protection of the Aryan Blood and Honour of the Croatian People. The Ustasha regime had also promoted the vision of a natural ecology of human order in the argument that every race was equally worthy, but only in its own environment.

Keywords: Aryan racial identity; Croatian national community; Law Decree on Racial Affiliation; multi-ethnic Nezavisna Država Hrvatska (NDH); National Socialist idea; race law; Ustashe; Volksgemeinschaft



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