Der Gewaltraum Jugoslawien, die Shoa in Kroatien und die italienische Besatzung
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The Violent Space of Yugoslavia, the Shoa in Croatia and the Italian Occupation – The Italian rescue of Jews during the Second World War in Yugoslavia is one of the most intricate issues a researcher in the field can tackle. The analysis of this topic is aggravated by the highly complex situation the territories of the former Kingdom of Yugoslavia experienced after the attack and break-up of the country by the Axis powers in April 1941. From a guerilla war, mostly led by communist partisans, to a situation of mutual distrust between formal allies Italy, Germany and Croatia, Yugoslavia experienced one of the bloodiest chapters in World War II history. The article analyses questions concerning the fate of Jews from the Independent State of Croatia and their subsequent rescue by Italian forces between summer 1941 and September 1943. By taking different points of view into account, it is possible to 1) reassess the steps that led to this rescue, 2) question the motives of individuals and groups attempting the rescue and 3) integrate this topic into a more complex situation of population displacements and forced relocation in World War II Yugoslavia. Considering archival sources from multiple Italian institutions, this article thoroughly analyses a complicate topic that – seven decades after the end of the war – still poses questions to researchers.