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Andrija Artukovic
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    (November 29, 1899-January 16, 1988)
    Born in Ljubuski, Bosnia and Herzegovina
    Member of the separatist paramilitary group the Utashi
    Served as Minister of the Interior (1941-42), Minister of Justice (1942-43) and Minister of the Interior again (April-November, 1943) of Croatia
    Accused in the deaths of 700,000 Serbs, Jews and Gypsies
    Known as 'the Himmler of the Balkans'
    He drafted race laws based on Nazi statutes and created a network of concentration camps.
    His secret police were equipped with specially designed devices for crushing skulls.
    He said, 'It is the duty of every Croatian not only to kill every Serb, Serbian woman and Serbian child, but even a Serbian child in its mother's womb.
    He boasted, 'We solved the Jewish question more efficiently and quickly than Hitler.'
    After the war, he fled Europe, eventually settling in California.
    His extradition to Yugoslavia was delayed for decades by Cold War politics and pressure by Croatian-American and Catholic groups.
    He was sentenced to death for war crimes (May 14, 1986), but authorities ruled he was too ill to execute, so he died from senile dementia in a prison hospital.
    His ability to extend a 90-day tourist visa into a 38-year stay in America is impressive in its way.
    At immigration hearings, his lawyers were successful at downplaying his Nazi connections while emphasizing his anti-Communism.
    In accord with Yugoslavian policy in capital crimes, he was cremated and his ashes scattered to prevent the creation of a shrine by his supporters.

Credit: C. Fishel

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