Rob McCormick Discusses World War II War Criminal Ante Pavelić at Authors@Upstate on Tuesday, April 14

April 13, 2015 at 7:00 am

The Authors@Upstate Visiting Writers Series will host author Rob McCormick on Tuesday, April 14.

McCormick, chair of the Department of History, Political Science, Philosophy, and American  Studies at the University of South Carolina Upstate, will discuss his book, “Croatia Under Ante Pavelić: America, the Ustaše and Croatian Genocide,” at 4:15 p.m. in the JM Smith Boardroom in the Health Education Complex.

Ante Pavelić was the leader of a paramilitary and terrorist force, the Ustaše, who, on Adolf Hitler’s instruction, became the leader of Croatia after the Nazi invasion of 1941.

“Ante Pavelić was one of the most significant war criminals from World War II to never answer for his crimes,” McCormick said. “With Allied and Vatican assistance, he successfully escaped to Argentina and ultimately died in 1959 in Spain.”

McCormick’s book, examines the relationship between the United States and Ante Pavelić from his masterminding of the assassination of King Alexander I of Yugoslavia in 1934 to his death in 1959. For much of the 1930s, extremist Croatian-Americans were important supporters of Pavelić and the Ustaše, helping to keep his Croatian nationalist message alive in America and Europe. After gaining power in wartime Croatia, Pavelić’s regime killed about 330,000 Serbs, Jews, and Roma, while operating a series of concentration camps. After the war, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Vatican conspired to help Pavelić and many of his allies avoid arrest and escape from Europe to the safety of Argentina. Tracing Pavelić’s escape to Argentina, McCormick argues that American authorities protected Pavelić because he was devout Catholic and anti-Communist who held the potential to be useful in the emerging Cold War.

The program is free and is open to the public.

For more information, contact Tom McConnell at (864) 503-5681 or tmcconnell@uscupstate.edu.