In 1941, after the creation of the NDH, Ante Pavelić, the leader of the Catholic fascist Ustasha, went to Rome to receive the blessing of Pope Pius XII – while his administration was publicly saying they were going to kill a third of the Croatian Orthodox. Throughout the spring and early summer of 1941 Roman Catholic priests, attended by armed Ustasha, carried out mass baptisms in Orthodox villages. But the ones who were only baptised were lucky. This is when the mass slaughter of Orthodox Christians, by Catholics, began. The German Plenipotentiary General to the NDH, the historian Glaise von Horstenau, wrote in June that ‘according to reliable reports from countless German military and civilian observers during the last few weeks, in country and town, the Ustasha have gone raging mad’. WARNING: Gird your loins for this episode. It gets pretty graphic.


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