“‘Aryanization’ in the Independent State of Croatia”
Alma Huselja is a PhD student in history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she also completed an MA in history. She received an AB with a certificate in Urban Studies fromthe School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. She previously worked as a legal assistant and as an undergraduate research assistant at the European Roma Rights Centre. She is a native speaker of English and Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian and is proficient in German, Italian, and French. Ms. Huselja's research interests are World War II and the Holocaust in southeastern Europe. She is specifically interested in “Aryanization" campaigns and their role in helping understand fascist ideology, collaboration, and everyday life during World War II.
Ms. Huselja was awarded a 2022 Summer Graduate Student Research Fellowship for her project "'Aryanization' in the Independent State of Croatia.” Her research examines the expropriation of "non-Aryan" property by the Ustaša regime and the process of its seizure and redistribution. It looks at the ideas, individuals, and institutions driving “Aryanization”on the local, regional, and state levels to explicate differences between areas in the territory of the Independent State of Croatia (NDH). In looking at these interconnected threads, her research highlights the role of property seizure vis à vis the NDH’s attempts at state legitimation as well as the experiences of Jews, Serbs, and Roma targeted by the NDH. As a Summer Graduate Student Research Fellow at the Mandel Center, she will primarily utilize documents from the Museum's collections from the former Yugoslavia related to the NDH and World War II in the region, as well as personal documents, memoirs, and testimony from genocide survivors and bystanders to violence.