The Nazi German entry into the Balkans in the spring of 1941, together with the complete dismemberment of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, heralded the birth of the Nezavisna Drzava Hrvatska (NDH) or “Independent” State of Croatia. Run by the Ustashe, the NDH was an ideologically fascist state that, during its brief existence between April 1941 and May 1945, subjected its minority Serbian population to genocide. In addition to many hundreds of thousands being killed or forcibly converted to Roman Catholicism (the religion of the Croats), many Serbs fled the territory of the NDH for neighboring Serbia. The bitter memory held by these Serb survivors of the Ustashe regime, in particular the refugees, constituted a subversive force throughout the period of the second Yugoslavia, culminating in the Yugoslav Wars between 1991 and 1995.

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