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Additional resources for [Article] Religion and Nation in Wartime Croatia: Reflections on the Ustaša Policy of Forced Religious Conversions, 1941-1942

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For the standard interpretation that this speech presaged a policy shift for the regime, see Jelic-Butic, UstageiNDH, p. I76. 110 RELIGION AND NATION IN WARTIME CROATIA realize, however, in light of the few remaining Orthodox priests in Croatia. The legal status of the Orthodox Serb population was quite another matter, however. 134 The policy of conversion was clearly a deeply resented policy among Serbs and fuelled their resistance to the authorities. 135 By that point the regime had been forced yet again to adopt a tactical shift in its Serb policy.

14 And yet other officials appeared indifferent. "I5 This was echoed by an official from Cortanovci commune (Srijem), who indicated that no Serbs had converted 'because these [Serbs] believe that with their work and behaviour they have shown their loyalty to the State even though they are of the Greek Eastern faith'. "'' The replies, of many local civilian and Ustasa party officials raise some important questions about the politics of the VO's statistics, and the possibility of misreporting or underreporting by local officialdom and party bosses who tried, for a variety of reasons, to resist central policy as laid out by the VO.

39 To be sure, this is a significant figure but even if it were accepted as accurate, the policy would still have to be considered a failure, that is, if one assumes that the aim of the central authoritieswas to catholicize the remaining Serb population. '40 As already noted, the VO's archival material confirms that approximately 97,447 to 99,333 conversions occurred in I94I-42, the vast majority to the Roman Catholic faith. If one adds to this the figures of the Evangelical Church, then perhaps an additional i ,500 Serbs converted to Lutheranismin the same period.

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