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Journal of Contemporary History, Vol.39 No.3 January 2008.

Original scientific paper

The handing over of prisoners from Bleiburg field and its surroundings in May 1945

Martina Grahek Ravančić

Fulltext: pdf (133 KB), Croatian, Pages 531 - 550 , downloads: 813 *

Abstracts
In this article the author focuses on events that took place immediately following the end of the Second World War. With the end of military operations came the demarcation of new spheres of influence between the victors and the vanquished. Political agreements, the situation in the field, and the decrees of international human rights organizations in large part decided future conditions. The majority of the members of the armed forces of the Independent State of Croatia found themselves in the middle of the fray, along with those civilians who had fled ahead of the Partisans into the Allied zone in Carinthia. Thus, Bleiburg was the meeting point of British, Partisan, and Croatian armies. After two days of negotiations, the content of which is still unknown today, the decision to turn the armies of the Independent State of Croatia over to the Partisans was made. The vast majority of the army did not escape encirclement by units of the Yugoslav armies and was forced surrender their weapons and hold out “white flags.” According to promises made, the prisoners were supposed to be treated according to international law concerning the treatment of prisoners of war, but later events were to reveal how far from these norms the treatment accorded to the Croatian forces was, and to what extent the Western Allies were implicated in this whole issue.

Keywords
Second World War; 1945; Bleiburg; Prisoners of War; Extradition; Surrender of Prisoners; Forced Repatriation.

[Croatian]

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