|Independent State of Croatia
Nezavisna Država Hrvatska, Независна Држава Хрватска
Croatian territory in 1945
|Government||Constitutional monarchy/fascist puppet state|
|-||Declaration||10 April 1941|
The Independent State of Croatia (Serbo-Croatian: Nezavisna Država Hrvatska, Независна Држава Хрватска; NDH) was a fascist puppet state of Italy and later Nazi Germany, though officially was a constitutional monarchy. After the Balkans Campaign, in which the Kingdom of Yugoslavia was invaded, Croatia became an independent state, set up by Italy. The ruling party was the Croatian Revolutionary Movement, or Ustasa, a radical fascist party.
After the end of World War II, the Independent State of Croatia became almost entirely free of Italian/German rule, with the leader, Ante Pavelic, given almost absolute power over the government without Axis oversight. There was a holocaust against Jews, Serbs, and gypsies in the country during and after the war. It became a prominent member of the Axis after the war.
Formation and early days
The country was established in April 1941, after the Axis invasion of Yugoslavia. A Croatian fascist, Ante Pavelic, was in exile in Italy at the time but returned to Croatia. He established the government, which was officially a constitutional monarchy under an Italian prince, who took up the name of "Tomislav II" (a medieval Croatian king). However, he had no real power, and did not even visit Croatia. Pavelic had absolute control, and begun reforming the government and military. His radical Ustaša militia prfrormed various atrocities throughout the country, so much that even the Germans were attempting to stop Pavelic.