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The Tragedy of Bleiburg and Viktring, 1945
Florian Thomas Rulitz
Translated from the second German edition by Andreas Niedermayer
Foreword by Paul E. Gottfried
“Based upon impressive research, Rulitz’s study shows that thousands of anticommunist refugees were murdered by Tito’s Partisans—in many cases after having been repatriated by the British as the price for a Yugoslav Army withdrawal from Austrian territory. In his attempt to correct historical memory, Rulitz has written an important and original book.”—Lee Congdon, author of Seeing Red: Hungarian Intellectuals in Exile and the Challenge of Communism (NIU Press, 2001)
"Rulitz’s book offers the first in-depth analysis in English from an Austrian perspective, which allows him to address the fate of all of the various groups that found themselves in southern Carinthia in May 1945. Rulitz deserves to be commended for his impressive fieldwork." —European History Quarterly
The atrocities and mass murders committed by Josip Broz Tito’s Partisan units of the Yugoslav Army immediately after the Second World War had no place in the conscience of Socialist Yugoslavia. More than once, the annual Croatian commemoration of the Bleiburg victims was subject to attacks carried out by the socialist Yugoslav state. Abroad in the West, on Austrian soil, the Yugoslav secret service (UDBA) did not shy away from murdering the protagonist of the Croatian memory culture, Nicola Martinovic, as late as 1975. The official history was aligned with a firm interpretational paradigm that called for a glorification of the anti-fascist “people’s liberation resistance.” With the breakup of Yugoslavia and its socialist regime in 1991, the identity-establishing accounts of contemporary witnesses, which had mainly been cherished in exile circles abroad, increasingly reached public awareness in Croatia and Slovenia.
July 2015 290 pp., 20 illus., 6x9
Florian Thomas Rulitz is a historian of Alps-Adriatic military contemporary history.
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