For the vice president of the National assembly of the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs, see Ante Pavelić (1869)
|Office:||Poglavnik of the Independent State of Croatia|
|Office2:||Prime Minister of the Independent State of Croatia|
|Monarch2:||Aimone, Duke of Spoleto|
|Birth Date:||July 14, 1889|
|Birth Place:||Bradina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Austria-Hungary|
|Death Place:||Madrid, Spain|
|Spouse:||Marija Pavelić (née Lovrenčević)|
|Party:||Croatian Party of Rights,|
Croatian Liberation Movement
Ante Pavelić (July 14, 1889 – December 28, 1959) was the Head (Poglavnik) and founding member of the Croatian national socialist/fascist and terrorist Ustaše organization. The movement name is Ustaša - Croatian Revolutionary Organization (Croatian: Ustaša - Hrvatska revolucionarna organizacija)  and, later, the leader of the Independent State of Croatia, a fascist puppet state  of the Axis powers during World War II (primarily Nazi Germany). He died in Madrid in December 28 1959.
Ante Pavelić was a Bosnian Croat born north of Konjic, Bradina, a small village roughly 15 kilometres southwest of Hadžići in Bosnia and Herzegovina, then part of the empire of Austria-Hungary. His parents had moved to Bosnia from southern Lika, in the small town of Krivi Put, on the central part of the Velebit plain. As an adult, Ante Pavelić decided to move to Zagreb to study law. An extremist even in his youth, Pavelić became a member of the organization known as the "Frankovci", whose founder, Dr. Josip Frank, was the father-in-law of Slavko Kvaternik, an Austro-Hungarian army officer. Kvaternik had been a long-standing advocate of Croat separatism.
In 1919, Pavelić was the interim secretary of the Pure Party of Rights. In 1921 he was arrested, along with several other members of the party, but was released. Pavelić defended his fellow party members at their trial, but lost.
Pavelić's quarrelsome nature was increasingly apparent in the years immediately after World War I, when he became involved in a succession of disputes with the Centralist Party and the Croat Peasant Party of Stjepan Radić. Pavelić was the sole representative of his Party in the Skupština (Yugoslav Parliament), but rarely attended sessions and, when he did, he occasionally indulged in a long harangue against some measure of which he did not approve.
In the early 1920s, Pavelić established contacts with Croat émigrés in Vienna and Budapest. Over the next few years he entered into close accord with the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization and, in 1927, defended Macedonians charged in Skopje with terrorist offences. Through his Viennese contacts, Pavelić established clandestine links with the Italian government, but he was less successful in attempting to forge similar links in Hungary, where Budapest authorities were wary of jeopardising relationships with other countries.  
In 1927 Pavelić was elected to the national assembly, having previously served on the municipal council of Zagreb. Pavelić was one of two elected on the Croatian Bloc's list, the other being Ante Trumbić. Pavelić held the position of party secretary in the Party of Rights until 1929, the beginning of the royal government in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Shortly after the proclamation of the establishment of the government Alexander I of Yugoslavia in January 1929, Pavelić fled abroad and was subsequently sentenced to death in absentia in Belgrade for his part in anti-Serb demonstrations organized in Sofia by Bulgarian and Macedonian terrorists. Pavelić then co-founded the Ustaše extremist organization and went underground.
Pavelić and the Ustaše received support from Italian Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, who saw them as a means to help destroy Yugoslavia and expand Italian influence in the Adriatic. Mussolini allowed Pavelić to live in exile in Rome and train his paramilitaries for war with Yugoslavia. Pavelić would later cede parts of Dalmatia and some Adriatic islands to Italy in exchange for being allowed to take all of modern-day Bosnia and Herzegovina into the NDH.
Ustaše training camps were set up in Italy and Hungary, chiefly at Brescia and Borgotaro in Italy, and Jankapuszta in Hungary. In 1933, the Ustaše attempted an armed insurrection in Yugoslavia.  . Armed by the Italians, the Ustaše attempted to invade the Yugoslavia by crossing the Adriatic sea in motorboats. This was unsuccessful but its lack of success probably was instrumental in the decision to assassinate King Alexander I of Yugoslavia. Two attempts were made, the last one successful, and Alexander was slain at Marseilles 9 October, 1934 along with the French Foreign Minister, Louis Barthou.
The lack of armed protection afforded to the Yugoslav monarch, and the general laxity of security precautions when it was well-known that one attempt had already been made on Alexander's life, testify to Pavelić's organizational abilities; he had apparently been able to bribe a high official in the Sûreté General. The Prefect of Police of Marseilles, Jouhannaud, was subsequently removed from office. For the second time, Pavelić was in abstentia sentenced to death, this time by a French court.
Hitler was not thrilled about putting fascists in charge of his puppet governments, so he did so only when there was no other option. This was the case with Croatia and Pavelić’s Ustashi government. Before he was ever leader of the Ustashi party, he was a young lawyer and leader in the Party of Rights (a Croatian nationalist party). It wasn’t until 1929 when he formed the Ustasha-Hrvatska Revolucionarna Organizacija (Insurgency-Croatian Revolutionary Organization, UHRO). In 1932 he wrote the charter of principles that outlined the plan for achieving an independent Croatia based on their ethnic identity and Catholic religion. This task would be the responsibility of an ustanak, or rather an armed insurgency, composed of the Croatian people, under the direction of the Ustashi. Ethnic cleansing and land gain were at the center of the party's agenda. Pavelić believed that the new Croatian state should include most of Bosnia and all of Dalmatia. Pavelić and his party argued that Croatia had already defeated the nomads of the east and the Turkish Muslims. Their new objective was to rid the country of Eastern Slavs and communism. Around twenty-four concentration camps were set up in Croatia, the most deadly of them being at Jasenovac where Allied estimates prove that 750,000 Serbs, Jews and Gypsieswhere murdered. Pavelić did not consider Croatians to be Eastern or Slavic, but rather of a more Western and Gothic background. The party would use this idea later during the war to become closer to Nazi Germany. However, unlike the Nazis, who preached no escape or mercy for the Jews of Germany and other Central European powers, Pavelić originated a plan to spare Serbs and Bosnians who embraced Catholicism and were willing to convert he was quoted as saying "we shall convert one third, we shall kill one third and one third will leave willingly or unwillingly". While Pavelić aligned himself and the party with more of an Italian fascist ideology, the Ustashi movement in Germany began to place more emphasis on race. This was most likely due to their close proximity to the National Socialists of Germany. On more than one occasion Hitler was reluctant to put Pavelić in power. The leadership role of Croatia after the German invasion was first offered to Vladko Maček, who was leader of the Peasant Party at the time. It was again offered to Macek in 1941 when Hitler considered replacing Pavelić. However, Macek refused both offers, leaving Pavelić in power. At the end of the war when Pavelić fled the country, more than 50,000 Croatian soldiers were murdered by the incoming communists.
Pavelić remained in Italy until the beginning of World War II. In 1941, after the Axis powers had agreed to formation of the Independent State of Croatia, Pavelić returned to Zagreb and became leader of the State throughout its existence. As the leader of the State, he directly ordered, organized and conducted a campaign of terror against Serbs, Jews, Gypsies, and anti-fascist Croats. Pavelić's Ustaše regime was the most murderous, in relation to its size, in Axis-occupied Europe.  Numerous testimonies from the Nuremberg Trials, and in German, Italian and Austrian war archives, bear witness to bestialities perpetrated against the civilian population.
Serbian, Jewish, and Gipsy men, women, and even children were literally hacked to death. Whole villages were razed to the ground and the people driven into barns to which the Ustaše set fire. General Edmund von Glaise-Horstenau reported to the OKW on June 28, 1941:
On July 10, General Glaise-Horstenau added:
According to these testimonies, German officers themselves were dismayed by the atrocities committed by the Ustaše, to the extent that they occasionally intervened to stop the bloodshed (Jasenovac, 1941 ), arrested one of the most notorious Ustaše (Friar Miroslav Filipović/Majstorović, Banja Luka, 1942) and disarmed an Ustaše detachment (Eastern Bosnia, 1942).
The regime declared in advance its intention to eliminate the Serbian population in NDH by killing one part, expelling a second part and converting the rest. . A Gestapo report to Himmler (17 February 1942) on increased Partisan activities stated that "Increased activity of the bands is chiefly due to atrocities carried out by Ustasha units in Croatia against the Orthodox population. The Ustashas committed their deeds in a bestial manner not only against males of conscript age, but especially against helpless old people, women and children. The number of the Orthodox that the Croats have massacred and sadistically tortured to death is over seven hundred thousand."
Pavelić's regime was not officially recognized by the Vatican, but the Church never condemned the genocide and forced conversions to Catholicism perpetrated by the Ustaše. Soon after coming to power in April 1941, Pavelić was given a private audience in Rome by Pope Pius XII, an act for which the Pope was widely criticized.
Official policy against the Serbs was extermination, expulsion, and conversion to the Roman Catholicism. As to the Jews and Gypsies - the only policy was total annihilation of both. According to an official Yugoslav report, only 1,500 out of 30,000 Croatian Jews remained alive.  Approximately 26000 Gypsies were murdered by the Ustashi in the Independent State of Croatia. There was approximately 40000 Gypsies living within the borders of the Independent State of Croatia.  A Yugoslav court ruled Pavelić responsible for approximately 700,000 deaths, though some historians and demographers believe that figure to be too high.
In May 1945 Pavelić fled from advancing partisan forces, via Bleiburg, to Austria. After a few months, Pavelić moved to Rome, where he was hidden by members of the Roman Catholic Church (according to de-classified US Intelligence documents.)
Six months after arriving in Rome, Pavelić fled to South America. Upon arriving in Argentina via the ratlines, he became a security advisor to Juan Perón  . Perón issued 34,000 visas to Croatians, including those who had been Nazi collaborators and had fled from the Allied advance  .
On April 10, 1957, the 16th anniversary of the founding of the Independent State of Croatia, the 67 year old Pavelić was shot and seriously wounded by an unknown assailant in Buenos Aires. The shooting was generally attributed to Yugoslav intelligence, although the anniversary also suggested that it may have been an act of revenge of a Serbian Chetnik activist Blagoje Jovović. Despite having a bullet lodged in his spine, Pavelić elected not to be hospitalized.
Two weeks after the shooting, the Argentine authorities agreed to grant the Yugoslav government's request to extradite Pavelić, but he went into hiding before he could be extradited. Although there were reports that Pavelić had fled to Paraguay to work for the Stroessner regime, his whereabouts remained unknown until late 1959, when it was learned that he had been granted asylum in Spain. Pavelić died on December 28, 1959, at the German hospital in Madrid, reportedly from complications due to the bullet in his spine.  . Pavelić was buried in the San Isidro cemetery in Madrid.