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When Courage Prevailed: The Rescue and Survival of Jews in the Independent State of Croatia 1941-1945

When Courage Prevailed: The Rescue and Survival of Jews in the Independent State of Croatia 1941-1945
1.50 lbs



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Index , Notes , Bibliography , Appendix , Photos , Illustrations
$21.95 (16.46)

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When Courage Prevailed examines the ways Jews were rescued and survived in a country in which the Ustaše, with their roots in Yugoslavia’s nationality conflicts and politics, adopted the Nazi ideology, which emphasized that there could be no compromise in regard to the Jewish Question and the Final Solution: no Jews deserved rescue. Survival of Jews was complicated by Yugoslavia’s dismemberment at the hands of the Axis Powers; Germany and Italy and its satellites and puppets. The Nazi propaganda machine advocated that Jews must be exterminated for the good of the Aryans which included the Volksdeutsche (Yugoslavs of German ancestry), the Croats and the Muslims.

Those who dared to defy German commands suffered severe penalties. To survive, a Jew had to be brave, resourceful, and willing to seize every opportunity for escape, and each would owe a debt of gratitude to as many as twenty helpers. Entire villages hid Jewish children. Friends and neighbors appealed to the Ministry of the Interior for the release of individuals. Employers and employees beseeched the Ministry of Finance to obtain the release of Jewish workers, employers, and managers from concentration camps. Many efforts entailed great risk. This book reveals the practical and the ethical motives animating rescue.

Three overarching variables played key roles in the nature and extent of rescue in the Independent State of Croatia, known as (NDH):

First, Nazi-instigated propaganda struggled to gain traction, even among the Ustaše, a factor attributable to the weakness of prewar antisemitism, the high rate of assimilation among Croatian Jews, especially the large number of mixed marriages—even Pavelić’s wife was half-Jewish—and to the Ustaše’s need for the Jews’ professional skills.

Second, even though the Nazis systematically exploited greed to encourage collaboration, many Croatians did not succumb to it. Their reluctance to assist the occupiers and the Ustaše, and their willingness and courage to assist the Jews, helped some of them to hold on until they could be rescued.

Third, the initiative on the part of Jews who fled to the Italian zones or to the Partisans—even at the cost of abandoning their property or members of their families—increased their odds of survival. Opportunities for escape were scarce, but they existed, and those who seized these precious moments improved their chances for survival.

"Faced with genocide, it's shocking that only a few dared to stand agaisnt the will of the state. When Courage Prevailed: The Rescue and Survival of Jews in the Independent State of Croatia 1941-1945 tells the story of the Nazi force that spread to other countries in Europe, and the oppression of the Jewish people that was felt in this country alongside the other minorities of the region, where racial tension seemed to be strong throughout the twentieth century. When Courage Prevailed is a fascinating read of survival under continuing oppression. — The Midwest Book Review

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