The Independent State Of Croatia or often referred to by the abbreviation NDH, it was a World War II puppet state of Nazi Germany established on the part of Axis-occupied Yugoslavia. The NDH was founded on 10 April 1941, after the invasion of Yugoslavia by the Axis powers. It consisted of most of modern-day Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, together with some parts of modern-day Serbia. The regime targeted Serbs, Jews, and Roma people, as part of large-scale genocide campaigns conducted in places such as the Jasenovac concentration camp.
In August 1944, there was an attempt by the NDH Foreign Minister Mladen Lorković and Minister of War Ante Vokić to execute a coup d’état against Ante Pavelić. The Lorković-Vokić coup failed, and its conspirators were executed.
By early 1945, the NDH army withdrew toward Zagreb with German and Cossack troops. They were overpowered, and the advance of Tito’s Partisan forces, joined by the Soviet Red Army, caused a mass retreat of the Ustaše towards Austria and effectively ended the Independent State of Croatia. In May 1945, a large column composed of NDH Home Guard troops, Ustaša, Cossacks, some Chetniks, the Slovene Home Guard, and numerous civilians retreated from the Partisan forces heading northwest towards Italy and Austria.
The German Instrument of Surrender was signed on 8 May. Still, the Germans put Pavelić in sole command of NDH forces. They ordered them to continue fighting as the columns tried to reach the British forces to negotiate passage into Allied-occupied Austria. The British Army, however, refused them entry and turned them over to the Partisan forces, starting the Bleiburg repatriations.
Meanwhile, Ante Pavelić had detached from the group and fled to Austria, Italy, Argentina, and finally, Spain, where he would die in 1959. Several other members of the NDH government were captured in May and June 1945 and sentenced to death or long-term imprisonment in the Trial of Mile Budak.
The end of the war resulted in the establishment of the Democratic Republic of Yugoslavia (which later became the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia), with the Constitution of 1946 officially making the People’s Republic of Croatia and the People’s Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina two of the six constituent republics of the new state.
I know a fellow collector whose collection focus on passports of the Axis powers. NDH is just one part of several such countries. Another fellow collector from the US now has the set complete and kindly supported me with pictures.
The passport types are as follows: 1) blue regular passport 2) blue-green regular passport 3) blue service passport 4) blue-green emigrant’s passport 5) brown emigrant’s passport 6) brown leather diplomatic passport