Marija Paveli?: The invisible Female Leader of the Independent State of Croatia (1941-1945)


  • Martina Bitunjac Sapienza-University of Rome


The Independent State of Croatia was established in 1941 with the help of Nazi Germany and fascist Italy after the Kingdom of Yugoslavia was destroyed and divided by the Axis powers. As an anti-Yugoslavian, anti-Communist and anti-Semitic organisation, the ustasha displayed very strong tendencies towards National Socialist and fascist ideology, incorporated it and implemented it as legislation. The dispossession and annihilation of Serbs, Jews, Roma and resistance fighters were the consequences of the totalitarian state that was headed by the ustasha cult figure Dr. Ante Paveli?. Also women played an important role in the creation of the new state, even if the ustasha in their propaganda practiced the centuries-old, conservative-Catholic patriarchy in a form that resembled Fascism in many aspects. This article aims to analyze the role of one of the most powerful women in the Independent State of Croatia: Marija Paveli?, the wife of the ustasha-leader. Although Paveli?’s wife Marija gave birth to three children and rarely appeared in public, she was already a politically active woman in the Italian exile (1929-1941) and attempted to support the power of her husband from the beginning of his political occupation.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2013.v4n2p205


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How to Cite

Marija Paveli?: The invisible Female Leader of the Independent State of Croatia (1941-1945). (2013). Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 4(2), 205.