The Independent State of Croatia (NDH) was established in 1941 in the part of the territory of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia occupied by the Nazi Germany and fascist Italy. Under the auspices of the Axis powers and founded on the ideology of the Ustaša movement and catholicisation of all structures of the state and society, the NDH implemented organised terror and pogroms against its citizens – members of other national, religious and racial background, who were proclaimed a disturbance factor (Serbs) and non-Aryans (Jews and Roma), and against ideological opponents from its own nation.
The book contains excerpts from the comprehensive photo-documentary collection of the Belgrade Museum of Genocide Victims about the suffering of the Serbian people in the NDH in 1941–1945. The photographs presented in the book document crimes committed in the NDH with the aim of annihilating the Serbs, Jews and Roma, and creating an ethnically pure Croatian state.
In the Foreword, academician Vasilije Krestić highlights long-lasting historical processes that have characterised Croatian politics in relation to the local Serbian corpus. The introductory text by author Jovan Mirković outlines the chronology of crimes in the first three months of existence of the NDH when there was still no organised resistance to the regime.
The photo-documentary material is divided into eight parts. The chapter “Legalisation of Crime and Terror – Racial Laws” contains the facsimiles of regulations which legalised terror and pogroms against the undesirable members of other national, religious and racial groups, and ideological and political opponents. The three chapters – “Crimes in Direct Terror, 1941, 1942 and 1943–1945” describe typical crimes against the civilian population, committed “at the threshold”. The chapter “Crimes against Children and Women” describes the crime of genocide against the most vulnerable groups of the population. The chapter “Crimes in State Institutions – Camps” demonstrates the role of the state in the organised crime of genocide. The chapter “Suffering of the Serbian Orthodox Church” documents the crimes of spiritual obliteration of the Serbian Orthodox population. The last chapter “Means and Methods of Crime” suggests the awareness of the highest circles of the Roman-Catholic Church about the mass crimes against members of other confessions in the NDH.
This book is an integral document about the ideology and practice of the NDH in carrying out the crime against humanity against the Jews, Roma, antifascists from other nations, and particularly against the Serbs who made up one third of the population and around 64% of the victims in the NDH.