The disposal of corpses in an ethnicized civil war: Croatia, 1941–45
in Human remains and mass violence

This chapter discusses the massacres carried out by the Ustaša in Croatia during the Second World War. It provides a brief presentation of the historical background, and describes the massacres carried out by the Ustaša militia and their corpse disposal methods. The chapter also discusses German and Italian reactions to discoveries of the physical traces of the massacres. The Germans supported the Ustaša in the transformation of Croatia into an ethnically homogenized state, and in doing so initially accepted the violent actions of Ustaša militias. The Germans had more difficulties dealing with the locations of the mass murders carried out by their Ustaša partners. The chapter raises the question of the extent to which the gruesome staging of death, using the corpses of killed opponents, might be part of the communications history of a civil war. Mass rape is typically an aspect of the violence in a civil war.

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Human remains and mass violence

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