|The Balkans 1908 - Ottoman Empire and the Austro/Hungarian Empire most significant players|
|Austro Hungarian Empire 1900|
Kristina began the story around WWI, saying that we needed to understand the early 20th century Balkan story to grasp the conflict of the 1990s.
|Kingdom of Serbia 1918|
|The Balkans 1913|
Throughout this period the borders of the sub-states were changing every time someone sneezed. The Kingdom of Yugoslavia was huge. Maybe one third of the Balkan Peninsula - which is the land that is contained by Hungary and Romania in the north, the Black Sea in the east, the Adriatic in the west and Turkey in the south, and includes Greece (a non Slavic culture). There have been many historic tensions in play though this region for centuries.
|Kingdom of Yugoslovia 1918|
Back to WWI and a time when many young Croatians fled, got an education and began to agitate from abroad for change. A young man named Josip Broz was among them. He was handsome, charismatic, intelligent, astute, articulate and fascinated by socialism.
"This country can only be a Croatian country, and there is no method we would hesitate to use in order to make it truly Croatian and cleanse it of Serbs, who have for centuries endangered us and who will endanger us again if they are given the opportunity."
— Milovan Žanić, the minister of the NDH Legislative council, on 2 May 1941.
It's a form of the German SS. They create internment camps mirroring Germany, but without the gas chambers. Many prisoners of these camps die of starvation or disease, but most, estimated at 300,000, are murdered.
Meanwhile Josip Broz becomes a devotee of Communism and of Stalinism in particular. He adopts the nickname Tito (no specific meaning - just sounds good), founds a Croation Communist Party and begins to forge a united resistance as leader of the Croatian Liberation Army (aka the partisans). The partisans/Communist party are local militia determined to fight a guerilla war of liberation against the occupying forces, the Ustace and what they see as the Croatian puppet government.