Victims, Beneficiaries, Consumers

Thursday, 10 December 2015, 4:00pm - 5:30pm, IWM library

Croatian Jews wearing Jewish badges with the Star of David and the letter “Z”

The presentation seeks to answer a deceptively simple question: What is the impact of mass terror on everyday, economic and social life? And how do both victims and potential beneficiaries negotiate such a system? Taking the Holocaust in Croatia as a case study, this project examines the first year of the fascist Independent State of Croatia, established in April 1941 under the rule of the Ustasha movement. Focusing on the economic destruction of the state’s Serbian and Jewish elite, it examines the various ways in which individual Serbs and Jews sought to negotiate their dispossession. It also aims to provide an inside view of the terror, looking at the working culture, plans and aspirations of the economic agencies and institutes tasked with implementing the ‘final solution’ of the Serbian and Jewish ‘problem’. Likewise, it considers the ways in which the destruction of the Serbian and Jewish middle classes impacted everyday economic, commercial and working life, feeding the demand for consumer goods, social mobility and career advancement in a time of scarcity while simultaneously exacerbating economic, resource and cost of living imbalances.

Rory Yeomans gained his PhD from University College London. He is the author of Visions of Annihilation: The Ustasha Regime and the Cultural Politics of Fascism and editor of The Utopia of Terror: Life and Death in Wartime Croatia. He has been an advanced academia fellow at the Centre for Advanced Study, Bulgaria and a Cantemir fellow at the University of Oxford. His main research interests are the social, economic and cultural history of fascist Croatia. Currently, he is a Visiting Fellow of the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies (VWI).


Ljiljana Radonić is writing her postdoctoral thesis on the “World War II in Post-Communist Memorial Museums” at the Austrian Academy of Sciences. Her PhD thesis on War on Memory. Croatian Politics of the Past between Revisionism and European Standards was published in 2010.

In cooperation with Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies (VWI)

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