Osman Kulenović

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Osman Kulenović
1st Vice President of the Government of the Independent State of Croatia
In office
16 April 1941 – 7 November 1941
Leader Ante Pavelić
Preceded by Office established
Succeeded by Džafer Kulenović
Personal details
Born (1889-12-15)15 December 1889
Rajinovci, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Austria-Hungary
Died 7 June 1947(1947-06-07) (aged 57)
Zagreb, Croatia, Yugoslavia
Nationality Croat
Political party Yugoslav Muslim Organization (until 1941)
Relations Džafer Kulenović (brother)
Nahid Kulenović (nephew)
Alma mater University of Vienna
Occupation Politician
Profession Lawyer
Religion Sunni Islam

Osman Kulenović (15 December 1889 - 7 June 1947) was a Croatian politician and lawyer, most notable for serving as the Vice President of the Government of the Independent State of Croatia in 1941.

Early life[edit]

Kulenović was born into a wealthy Bosniak family in Rajinovci in present-day Bosnia and Herzegovina. During his high school days in Sarajevo and Tuzla he emphasised his identification as a Croat. When he entered the University of Zagreb he joined the Party of Rights. During Austrian-Hungarian rule he was amongst the younger representatives in the Croatian Sabor. His colleague was Ante Pavelić, the future Poglavnik of the Independent State of Croatia. Kulenović graduated from the Faculty of Law, University of Vienna in 1917, where he gained his PhD as well. At the beginning of the 1920s he was the municipality president of Kotor Varoš, but due to his Croatian nationalist views he was removed from the office. In 1923, after he was removed from the municipal post, he worked as a lawyer in Bihać.[1]

Independent State of Croatia[edit]

After proclamation of the Independent State of Croatia (NDH) in April 1941, Pavelić invited Kulenović to Zagreb and named him vice president of the Government of the Independent State of Croatia on 16 April. Soon Banja Luka and Sarajevo became important political centres of the NDH, alongside Zagreb. Pavelić even considered moving several ministries to Banja Luka. As part of this policy, the vice presidency moved to Banja Luka, where Kulenović continued to work. As vice president, Kulenović visited towns and moved among the people. He informed Pavelić about the atrocities committed against the Serb population. After three months working for the government, Kulenović tendered his resignation, which Pavelić accepted only when he named Osman's brother Džafer Kulenović to the post. In November, the seat of the vice presidency was returned to Zagreb.[1]

Osman Kulenović was part of the Croatian delegation that went to Rome to sign the Treaty of Rome in which Croatia ceded large parts of its coast to Italy. In November 1941 Kulenović was named advisor and assignee to the Foreign Ministry. In 1943 he greeted the Mufti of Jerusalem, al-Husseini, after which he went to retirement, and lived in Zagreb until the end of the war. On 6 May 1945 he moved with rest of the officials towards Austria. He surrendered to the British authorities and was detained in a prison camp. On 10 October 1946 the British extradited him to the Yugoslav authorities which convicted him and other high-ranking NDH officials including Slavko Kvaternik on 7 June 1947. Kulenović was executed on the same day.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Dizdar et al. 1997, p. 219.