Ante Vokić

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Ante Vokić
Ante Vokić.jpg
Minister of Traffic of Croatia
In office
11 October 1943 – 29 January 1944
Prime Minister Nikola Mandić
Preceded by Hilmija Bešlagić
Succeeded by Jozo Dumandžić
Minister of Armed Forces of Croatia
In office
29 January 1944 – 30 August 1944
Prime Minister Nikola Mandić
Preceded by Miroslav Navratil
Succeeded by Nikola Steinfl
Personal details
Born 23 August 1909
Mostar, Austria-Hungary
Died 30 May 1945
Lepoglava prison, Croatia
Nationality Croat
Political party Ustaše movement
Spouse(s) Dragica Vokić
Profession Soldier, politician
Religion Roman Catholic
Military service
Allegiance Croatia
Service/branch Ustaše Army
Rank Krilnik
Commands Ustaše Traffic Brigades
Domobranstvo
Ustaše Army

Ante Vokić (23 August 1909 - 8 May 1945) was a Croatian politician, Ustaše krilnik and putschist.

Biography[edit]

Youth[edit]

Vokić was born in Mostar on 23 August 1909. He finished gimnasium in Sarajevo and attended Faculty of Law at University of Zagreb. He ended his study in 1929 and started working in train service in Sarajevo. He participated in founding of Croatian Academic Club "Kranjčević" and newspapers "Svijest" ("Consciousness"). He also participated in activity of HKD Napredak. Because of his political activity and threats given from Yugoslav Gendarmery, he moved a lot, firstly in Bosanski Brod, then in Slavonski Brod, Karlovac and at the end, in Zagreb.

World War II[edit]

Before the establishment of Croatian state, he was a member of Ustaše's branch in Zagreb. On 11 April 1941, by order of Slavko Kvaternik, he was placed in service of Headquarters of Ustaška Nadzorna Služba ("Ustasha Surveillance Service"). Their main task was to lead the existing Ustaša combat formations, form and built up further formations. Soon, in the same year, he was Director of train service in Sarajevo. He was also an organizer and commander of all Traffic Ustaša Brigades. As an associate of Jure Francetić he was a founding member of Crna legija (Black Legion). In 1943 he leaves Sarajevo and moves to Zagreb. On 11 October 1943 he was appointed as Ministers of Traffic.

On the suggestion of Mladen Lorković he was promoted to a rank of Ustaše's colonel and named Minister of Armed Forces on 29 January 1944. That was done against the will of German ambassador Siegfried Kasche and German military attache Edmund Glaise von Horstenau. On 13 July 1944 Ante Pavelić promoted him to rank of Ustaše's highest rank, krilnik (General). He became close associate and friend of Mladen Lorković. Lorković introduced him to high society of Baroness Vraniczany and Baroness Zlata Lubienski, who later became his good friends. At the beginning of August 1944 he was a best man on Lorković's wedding with Countess Nada von Ghyczy.

Lorković-Vokić plot[edit]

Vokić visits Croatian volunteers in Stockerau

Together with Mladen Lorković, Vokić lead a coup named Lorković-Vokić plot. The goal of the coup was switching sides of Croatia, that is, declaring war on Nazi Germany and alliance with Anglo-American allies. He often visited Domobran and Ustaše units and their officers and said that they should expect big event. He got sympathies of Domobran officers, while lost sympathies of Ustaše's officers, because they were loyal to Ante Pavelić. He connected to attorney of Vladko Maček, the president of Croatian Peasant Party, Ivan Faroli. He told him about performance of coup which would bring down Ustaše's regime and give power to Croatian Peasant Party. That included replacement of Ustaše's officers with Domobran officers, loyal to Croatian Peasant Party, and also disarmament of German units on Croatian territory and possible Ustaše's rebels. Ante Pavelić was also aware of the coup, and at first he supported the coup. He was always informed by his minister Mladen Lorković. But, later, Pavelić got visit from Gestapo officer and told about new weapons of Germany (V2) which would turn the war. So, Pavelić, influenced by Gestapo officer, on 21 August 1944 informed Siegfried Kasche about the coup and announced actions against putschists. He also accused German general Edmund Glaise von Horstenau for involvement in the coup, because von Horstenau was coaxing Pavelić to accept the coup.[1] Vokić's best man and the best friend, Ante Štitić, high ranking Police official, who was also involved in the coup, wrote a report after the meeting with Lorković (24 August 1944) and Vokić (25 August 1944) on four pages about those meetings and handed it to commander of Ustaše units Ivo Herenčić, the old opponent of Vokić. Herenčić gave a report to Pavelić. That report was main proof against Mladen Lorković and Ante Vokić on the trial for high treason.

Death[edit]

On sudden assembly of Government on 30 August 1944, Vokić was, together with Mladen Lorković, accused of conspiring against Poglavnik Ante Pavelić and Croatian allies, mainly Nazi Germany. On the same day, they were removed from their duties and placed under house arrest. With Lorković, Vokić was brought in front of the court of Poglavnik's Bodyguard Unit. They convinced him on lost of rank and ban from the unit. Later, he was interned in Novi Marof, from where he was moved to Headquarters in Koprivnica, together with Lorković. After that he was jailed in the Lepoglava prison and on 8 May 1945, the day Germany surrendered, he was executed by lieutenant of Ustaše's Defence, Martin Grabovac.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Marković, Marko. Povijest Crne legije
  • Tko je tko u NDH (Who is who in NDH) by Zdravko Dizdar
  • War and revolution in Yugoslavia, 1941-1945: occupation and collaboration by Jozo Tomasevich