Microcosmos of Fascism in the Age of Genocide

German Nazis, Croatian Ustaše, and the Hungarian Arrow Cross in the City of Osijek


  • Lovro Kralj University of Rijeka




Ustaše, Ustasha Movement, Fascism, Nazism, Arrow Cross, Independent State of Croatia, NDH, Holocaust, Genocide, Antisemitism


By combining microhistorical and regional approaches with theoretical findings from fascism, Holocaust, and genocide studies, this chapter examines the interaction between the Nazi, Ustaša and Arrow Cross movements in the city of Osijek. By analyzing the ideologies and praxis of the three fascist movements, this paper demonstrates that the future they wanted to build remained vague, contested, and contradictory despite many shared goals and enemies. Instead of bringing the three fascist movements together, antisemitism became a tool of competitive nation-building which contributed to the failure to create a genuinely transnational fascist front in a single city. Determining the pace of genocidal destruction became an instrument in the competitive fascist-elite-building. By relying on the concept of “genocidal consolidation,” this chapter argues that the Holocaust in Osijek became one of the primary means in the attempted consolidation of power by one fascist group at the expense of the other. Attempts to neutralize rival fascist elites in the struggle for political dominance on the regional level brought unintended consequences of significantly delaying the deportations of Jews of Osijek compared to the cities in the Independent State of Croatia.

Author Biography

Lovro Kralj, University of Rijeka

Lovro Kralj specialises in the fields of fascism, antisemitism, and Holocaust studies with a regional focus on central and southeastern Europe. He has participated in and presented at more than twenty international workshops and conferences, including the Lessons and Legacies conference. In addition, he has received multiple fellowships, including the Junior Fellowship at the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies. In 2021, he was awarded the Claims Conference University Partnership Lectureship at the University of Rijeka, where he continues to teach the history of Holocaust.




How to Cite

Kralj, Lovro. 2022. “Microcosmos of Fascism in the Age of Genocide: German Nazis, Croatian Ustaše, and the Hungarian Arrow Cross in the City of Osijek”. S: I.M.O.N. Shoah: Intervention. Methods. Documentation. 9 (2):67-89. https://doi.org/10.23777/sn.0222/art_lkra01.